News & Politics

Who's Paid to Shill for Big Tech? A New Online Tool 'Outs' Who's Getting Bezos Billions, Zuck Bucks, and @Jack Cash

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Who’s getting paid – or paid off – by Big Tech? A new online tool reveals in real-time who’s getting paid Zuck bucks, Bezos billions, Google greenbacks, or reaching into @Jack’s deep pockets as you’re reading their posts on social media or in the news.

And Big Tech is spreading that money around. Slathering, really. Lots of cream cheese on that bagel.

As The Federalist points out, last year Facebook and Amazon spent more money on formal lobbying than did the nation’s largest defense contractors, who are kept in yachts and private jets thanks to lobbying their buddies at the Pentagon.

The online tool is called “Big Tech Funding” and is made by a group called American Principles. It uses an extension for Google Chrome (heh), aggregates funding information that is available to the public but buried deeply on websites, and spits out “who’s getting what from whom” instantaneously.

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It puts out the information so that when you check on a group on Twitter, for example, the left-wing Center for American Progress, started by Clinton crony John Podesta, you find that Facebook really likes this group.

(Twitter screenshot)

Big-Tech companies can divvy up their largesse and give it to any person or any group it wishes, but considering these large companies have spent the better part of the past five years censoring, deplatforming, and canceling conservatives, it’s handy to know who’s on your side. It’s like an insta-dox. You click on an account and instantly know to consider the source of information they’re peddling.

The head of American Principles, John Schweppe, says the issue is more important than source-checking. He believes that colleges, universities, professors, and think tanks launder the money and the ideas of the tech moguls, giving their viewpoints the veneer of legitimacy, as he told Fox News.

He’s looking at traditionally right-of-center and conservative groups as well. For example, the Libertarian Cato Institute doesn’t escape scrutiny.

Disclosure: The Cato Institute is funded by Facebook and Google. 3% of their revenue is from corporations.

The Heritage Foundation rated a “disclosure” statement saying that Heritage doesn’t take Big-Tech money.

Disclosure: The Heritage Foundation has pledged not to accept Big Tech funding since 2020. [emphasis added]

(Twitter screenshot)

Writer and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fellow Jonah Goldberg got the Big-Tech funding treatment, as did others.

AEI takes Big-Tech money, which is why Goldberg got a disclosure caption.

The Federalist reports that this laundering of money and ideas using universities and think tanks can yield head-shaking results.

[T]he Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank heavily funded by Amazon, Facebook, and Google, put out a supposedly independent list of “investment heroes,” that ranked Amazon at the top.

Amazon immediately snapped up the plaudit and paid for an ad in Politico, a news outlet widely read by policymakers in Washington, to highlight it. As Emily put it, “Amazon funds a think tank that ranks it as a top investor, then uses that ranking to sponsor a newsletter touting the award.”

In fact, it was very much like the machine used to launder the phony Russia scam. The FBI, Fusion GPS, and DOJ used a fake story to frame President Trump.  They made up the story, shopped it around to get reporters to write something about it, used the resulting news stories based on the false original story to get a warrant to spy on their political enemies.

Think tank papers seem to make their way into legislation, much like Christopher Steele’s phony dossier made it into a Special Counsel report and was used to lie to the national security (FISA) court. Same scam, different day. Which begs the question, does anyone know what Glenn Simpson was doing the day this phony-baloney Amazon puff piece was being run through the Washington, D.C., grist mill?

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Here’s another example The Federalist notes:

In 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google had funded roughly 100 academic papers on public policy matters since 2009.

Some of those papers end up weighing in on consequential public policy decisions. When the Federal Trade Commission decided not to pursue an antitrust case against Google in 2013, agency economists advising that approach cited as partial justification a study by Google and two academic papers funded by grants from Google.

Is it legal? Probably. But it’s nice to know who’s paying, and that’s why the Google Chrome extension is already under attack. 

We’ll see how long it takes before Big Tech grows tired of receiving the same kinds of warnings the Silicon Valley Cheeto eaters have been slapping on people it doesn’t like for the past several years.