Republicans are not attacking Facebook, Google and Twitter only over allegations that they are biased against conservatives. They are increasingly collecting money from claims, too.
Candidates and high-profile campaigns for the Republican Party, including the Trump re-election effort in 2020, have historically flooded social media with ads claiming that these sites are censoring them and their allies. Their efforts illustrate a difficult truth about Wednesday’s Congressional hearing: Republicans’ interest in Silicon Valley is as much about politics as it is politics.
The fundraising activities are fully featured on Facebook, which collects a cache of ads running on its service – data showing that Truth has significant access to paid political speech. The most prolific is Trump and his campaign, which have regularly turned to the world’s largest social network to foment supporters of anger over allegations of conservative bias.
“Breaking news: Twitter wants to censor you,” read a batch of 132 ads commissioned by the Trump campaign in September that included a video clip of President Donald Trump Jr’s son and led viewers to a site asking for donations.
The announcement continued: “The elite of Silicon Valley should not dictate what you say.” “They won’t stop at anything to silence us.”
The data shows the Trump campaign has been running ads like this for a long time, and it paid for similar ads recently on Vice President Pence’s Facebook page. But Trump is not alone in trying to monetize attacks on tech giants: conservative groups, including Heritage Foundation, And elected Republican officials, including Senator Ted Cruz (Texas), have likewise sought to energize supporters on allegations of bias in recent years, the data shows.
Cruz, for his part, is on the Senate Commerce Committee and questioned tech executives on Wednesday. But he and other Republicans are limited in their ability to raise money from the hearing, as Facebook launched this week Impose a blackout on political ads Before election day.