Seven House Republicans on Wednesday, April 21, signed a letter pledging not to accept any Big Tech donations.
“With this pledge, we, as conservatives, are taking a firm stance against Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter,” Reps. Ken Buck ofColorado, who leads the group, told The Federalist.
Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Greg Steube of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Burgess Owens of Utah, and Andy Biggs of Arizona are other lawmakers to have signed the letter.
According to these congressmen, the Big Tech giants have “reached monopoly status” and “stifle competition.”
Their letter says, “As conservatives, we firmly believe in the free market and the free exchange of ideas.
“We will not continue to accept donations from companies who violate those convictions. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter have reached monopoly status in their respective markets.
“In the business sphere, each one of these companies has used their monopoly power to stifle innovation and destroy competitors.”
The letter continued, “Amazon demanded proprietary information from small businesses who are forced to use their platform and then used the small businesses’ data to make Amazon copies and relegated the competitors lower in their search results.
“Google and Facebook conspired to control the ad marketplace.
“Apple exacts a 30% tax from its competitors like Spotify because these companies have no way for their customers to download their app other than going through Apple’s app store or Google’s play store.”
According to The New York Times, these signees have previously received around $3,500 in contributions from the corporations. Their statement says they will no longer welcome such corporate donations in the future.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican, also recently denounced Big Tech’s “sweeping immunity” under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
In a speech at the Senate floor last week, Grassley said: “Many argue that these private companies have their own terms of service and are able to enforce them as they wish, that they’re not covered under the First Amendment. Yet these platforms are now the new public square where it’s important that all voices and viewpoints are able to be heard.”
“When Section 230 was signed into law, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube did not exist. Today they’re dominant tech giants,” he added.
In March, the chief executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They were chastised by Republicans for suppressing conservative views on their platform.
“Big Tech platforms are my biggest fear as a parent,” said Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, referring to their attempts to exploit and control youngsters.
The “Pledge for America” letter from the House Republicans concluded, “The threat posed by these monopolies is a real and present danger to conservatives, libertarians, and anyone who does not agree with these corporations’ ultra-liberal points of view. Therefore, we pledge that we will not accept donations from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, their Political Action Committees, or individual donations from any executive employee thereof.”