Wednesday, July 21, 2021

New Site Tracks Think Tank Funding by Big Tech

 Here is more from Politico:

The American Principles Project (APP), a populist Republican group that has been advocating against the influence of “Big Tech,” is launching a project today that’s certain to stir up debate, as GOP resistance to the influence of Silicon Valley money in Washington escalates. tracks which nonprofits, think tanks and academic centers receive funding from Facebook, Google, Amazon and/or Apple, based on publicly available disclosures. One of the datasets tracks the tech funding behind 400 groups; the other, which comes with a browser extension, includes 200 groups.

Jon Schweppe, the director of policy and government affairs at the APP, said he launched the project after hearing from staffers on Capitol Hill who were confused about which groups involved in policy debates about the tech sector receive money from those same companies.

The website also offers a “Big Tech Funding Browser Extension,” which adds disclosures to tweets from groups that take money from big tech companies. For instance, the browser extension would add a disclosure that says “Warning: This group is funded by Google, Facebook and Amazon” to tweets from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, or the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank. Schweppe said he knows it’ll ruffle some feathers.


Here is the Big Tech Funding website.  Think Tank Watch took a peek and here are some findings in terms of think tanks receiving big tech money:

  • American Enterprise Institute (AEI): Facebook, Google, Amazon
  • Aspen Institute: Facebook, Google
  • Atlantic Council: Facebook Google
  • Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC): Facebook, Amazon
  • Brookings Institution: Facebook, Google, Amazon
  • Cato Institute: Facebook, Google
  • Center for a New American Security (CNAS): Google, Amazon
  • Center for American Progress (CAP): Facebook, Google, Amazon
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS): Google, Amazon
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI): Facebook, Google, Amazon
  • Council on Foreign Relations (CFR): Facebook
  • Heritage Foundation: Facebook, Google
  • Hudson Institute: Google
  • New America: Facebook, Google, Amazon
  • Niskanen Center: Google
  • R Street Institute: Google, Amazon
  • Third Way: Facebook, Google
  • Urban Institute: Google


In June, APP sent a letter to offices on Capitol Hill warning Republican lawmakers and staffers to be wary about Big Tech funding of think tanks and other entities. 

The Heritage Foundation has recently turned down large donations from Facebook and Google.

Heritage is among more than 40 right-leaning research groups that have stopped accepting donations from tech giants.