Tech companies Google and Microsoft and communications companies Comcast and Verizon are among a number of corporations who have contributed to Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration fund, according to the Inaugural Committee’s website.
The committee published a list of all donors who gave more than $200 to “the 59th Presidential Inaugural activities,” and among them are some names familiar to those concerned about potential censorship of ideas online, though social media platforms are not, as of yet, among the contributors.
“Notable donors on the list include tech companies Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm; internet service providers Verizon and Comcast; aerospace giant Boeing; labor union IBEW; health insurance company Anthem, Inc.; and medical technology company Masimo Corporation,” Politico reported on Sunday.
Google, at least, is embroiled in the current controversy over social media and online censorship. On Saturday, Google announced that it would not allow Twitter alternative, Parler, on its Play store, per Fox News, effectively prohibiting Play Store customers from downloading and using Parler’s app.
The company told Fox News that its “‘longstanding policies’ require that apps with user-generated content have measures in place to remove certain obscene content – including posts that incite violence. Developers agree to those terms.”
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.,” the company wrote in a statement. “In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”
Apple also cut ties with Parler on Friday, removing the platform’s app from the iTunes store.
Biden’s campaign and his transition team have deep ties to “Big Tech,” according to Fox News, leaving conservatives concerned that the forthcoming Biden administration will do little to stand in the way of online censorship efforts, despite complaints by the ACLU and other civil liberties organizations.
“Big Tech employees have landed top posts on the Biden-Harris transition team and Republicans are raising concerns that the additions to the team and the next administration are ‘evidence’ that Silicon Valley ‘works hand in glove’ with Democratic politicians,” the outlet reported Saturday. “At least nine different Biden transition team members or advisers previously held positions at Facebook, Google, or Twitter. And several transition team members worked in the Obama administration before joining one of the tech giants and then later reentering politics as part of the Biden team.”
Although Facebook and Twitter do not appear on the list of Biden’s inauguration donors, top Facebook and Twitter executives donated to the Biden presidential campaign, the same outlet noted earlier this month.
“A Fox News review of FEC records shows that top executives at the social media companies made large donations to the Biden campaign, including several who gave the legal maximum of $2,800,” the network said.
Facebook’s vice president of public policy, its chief revenue officer, its chief financial officer, and several of its vice presidents all donated the maximum amount allowed under FEC regulations. A vice president at Twitter donated $2,000. A host of senior directors, program managers, middle managers, and low-level executives are also listed as donors to the Biden presidential campaign.
Although neither Twitter nor Facebook is a direct campaign contributor, an overwhelming majority of employees at both Twitter and Facebook give to Democrats, according to Open Secrets.
Biden aides claimed, early in December, that he is skeptical of the power wielded by social media outlets, and will not be swayed by big checks: “No campaign contribution is going to change Joe Biden’s fundamental values, including his belief that corporations who abuse their power should be held to account,” they said.
As The Daily Wire reported early Sunday, President Donald Trump intends to use his final days in office to pursue Big Tech after being suspended from Twitter and Facebook on Friday following an attack on the United States Capitol.