The tech giant’s “corporate control over the internet” is so extensive that its executives have reportedly spent more than $200 million lobbying Congress to “end restrictions” on political speech, according to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The report comes as Congress is poised to vote on whether or not to reauthorize the Protect IP Act, which is currently set to expire at the end of the month.
But in the midst of the battle over the reauthorization of the legislation, the Center on Media and Democracy says Facebook is using its power to stifle the free speech rights of Americans.
According to the report, Facebook is spending nearly $200,000 lobbying Congress on behalf of political candidates, organizations, and companies that support the legislation.
While Facebook’s political spending in Congress is only slightly higher than that of Google, it is the largest individual contributor to Congress, according the report.
It also reports that Facebook spent more money lobbying lawmakers on behalf.
The group reports that since the re-authorization, Facebook has spent $6 million lobbying on behalf the Protect Intellectual Property Act.
Congressional Democrats are calling for an end to Facebook’s power to regulate political speech.
A Facebook spokesperson told Politico that the company’s policies and procedures are transparent, and that Facebook does not use any software to filter political content.
The report notes that while Facebook has made a number of efforts to fight the Protect Internet Act, including using its “digital billboards” and other advertising techniques, it still has not come up with an effective way to fight back against the social network.
“Despite Facebook’s aggressive use of political advertising, it has failed to create a strategy to effectively fight back at the state level,” the report reads.