Facebook is cautiously helping create a new advocacy group that will use targeted advertising and political spending to combat the negative narrative surrounding the tech industry. End of the game? Preparing to fight Washington as government officials try to curb and destroy big technology, reports The Washington Post.
The US Edge project, which has not yet been launched, argues that Silicon Valley is important for the US economy and future freedom of speech. On the group’s splash page, which aired on Tuesday night, the project is defined as follows: “… a newly formed bipartisan coalition that claims that American innovators are an integral part of US economic health, national security and individual freedoms”
Sources that are directly related to the group say that the role of Facebook in the group is crucial. “The United States leads the world of technology, and we must be proud of this fact and promote it,” said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone. “We are working with a diverse group of stakeholders to help support our industry, and although we are making efforts to build this coalition, this is one of the many that we contribute and support.”
Two people working with an advocacy group said its goal is to tell good stories about technology. “In the current political context, there is criticism in all sectors, so it’s important that the technology industry tells its story, both in the District of Columbia and across the country,” said Joe Lockhart, a group consultant and former White House spokeswoman, during a press conferences. Clinton administration. “There is no specific problem that the group will focus on, but the goal is to be an important voice in matters related to technology and our economy.”
“You might think that if you were these companies, it’s time to counter this narrative in the hope that it will remove some of the political pressure from law enforcement,” said Harry the First, a law professor at New York University who specializes in antitrust legislation and business. the crime. “What this group could try to achieve by changing the story and indirectly influencing law enforcement officials.”
American Edge is trying to stand out as a human rights coalition, not as a lobbying group. “I would generally call propaganda a soft form of lobbying,” said William Kovacic, a professor of law at George Washington University and a former commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. “It is intended to indirectly change perceptions among politicians and decision-makers, and is intended for a wider, more attractive assessment among elites who tend to form opinions, and through these channels reach a popular audience.”
It is expected that American Edge, like other supporters of large technology corporations, starting with the Golden Age, will argue that strong restrictions on big technologies will only serve to stifle American innovation and at the same time will help foreign competitors such as China, according to man familiar with these efforts.
This nationalist perspective, coming from an organization with the same name as the «American Edge», can shake some patriots, especially if the group gets the right message. Once a pandemic is possible to imagine that companies such as Apple and the Google, they emit designed software for contact tracing, to help smooth the curve, or Facebook touts its efforts to help small businesses and to stop the misinformation.