Free flow of information and censorship may have come to a new head this week as it was revealed that millions of dollars have flowed from Big Tech companies, who censor online content, into Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ PAC and charities, who have ironically helped them lobby for “net neutrality.”
Over $7.5 million was donated to various non-profit organizations overseen by Khan-Cullors by philanthropies with ties to Facebook, Twitter and Netflix, according to the New York Post. In turn, the money has bankrolled Khan-Cullors efforts to back “net neutrality”
Net neutrality is the idea that there should be a free flow of information on the internet, at least at the service provider level. Advocates argue that Internet service providers or ISP’s don’t discriminate on internet traffic, that is they don’t charge differently based on the user, data, or method of communication. Net neutrality has its roots in the concept of “common carriers” which applies to systems that transport people or goods and offers service to the general public including things such as telephone systems, railroads, airlines, buses and taxicabs.
Big Tech companies generally support net neutrality because they don’t want anything to prevent people from being able to visit their sites, and generating more profit. In the eyes of Big Tech, non discrimination only seems to apply to the method of arriving at their sites. Once a user arrives at their site, the companies appear to censor anything they don’t agree with, as evidenced by the rash of censorship of conservative voices including President Trump being banned from Facebook and Twitter this past January.
According to public records, Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovits, has contributed more than $5.5 million to Khan-Cullors charities over the last few years. Forbes reported that his net worth is around $20 billion.
Khan-Cullors support of net neutrality began in 2014, the same year she founded the BLM movement.
“The continued growth of this movement and its capacity to respond nimbly and effectively to the brutal and biased policing of Black communities depends, in part, on access to a non-discriminatory Internet,” she penned in an op-ed for The Hill.
“Telecommunication companies are very clear that discrimination is a lucrative business,” the BLM co-founder wrote. “That’s why they’ve lined up seemingly strange bedfellows to oppose an open and free internet.”
She continued by arguing that some internet providers and people, including Jesse Jackson, President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz had “teamed up to change the Internet to an unequal one in which Black voices may have to pay more to be heard.”
In 2017, net neutrality laws were reversed by the FCC which allowed ISPs to dial speed up or down and charge based on usage. Big Tech has responded to the reversal by throwing money at lobbying for net neutrality.
In February of this year, it came to light that the principal organization behind the BLM movement, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, raked in $90 million for the cause in 2020. The largest donors were not identified although several major companies have announced their financial support of BLM.
Almost $22 million was set aside for specific grants to various BLM chapters in the United States. The foundation ended with more than $60 million in the coffers.
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