Social Media Giants 'Friend' Extremist SPLC


Social Media Giants 'Friend' Extremist SPLC

June 08, 2018

They're four of the biggest names on the internet -- and right now, they have one thing in common: a dangerous partnership with SPLC. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter are no lightweights when it comes to market influence, so the news they're all leaning (in some way or another) on the extremists at Southern Poverty Law Center is giving conservatives plenty to think about.

The Daily Caller, the same outlet who broke the story about Google's cozy relationship with SPLC, did some digging and discovered that America's most recognizable search engine was just the tip of the technology iceberg. On some level, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter also rely on Morris Dees's embarrassment of an organization, despite the fresh wave of skepticism over -- not just SPLC's legitimacy, but its shady business dealings. For the first time since the FBI, U.S. Army, and Obama Justice Department distanced themselves from Dees's group, the SPLC seems to have found a home at these companies, filtering out – or, more accurately, shutting down -- anything it deems hateful (which, based on its past labeling, could include anyone from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson).

It's been quite a comeback story for an organization that, just last year helped inspire a gunman to attack a congressional baseball practice – and before that, gave Floyd Corkins directions to FRC's office for another shooting. Of course, SPLC, which has struggled to regain its legitimacy, got some help from heavyweights like Apple and JP Morgan – both of whom sank hundreds of thousands of dollars into the group's progressive hit operation. Now, they stand to silence even more conservatives, working not-so-undercover to weed out dialogue on social media and America's largest retailer.

Amazon, by far the biggest advocate of SPLC, made no bones about its relationship, insisting it gives the organization carte blanche to police people as it sees fit. And police it has, particularly in the Amazon Smile program, which just dropped a mainstream legal defense group – Alliance Defending Freedom – from its list of approved charities. ADF, Amazon explained, was blocked for being a "hate group." A "hate group," incidentally, that just won a blockbuster case at the Supreme Court this week. Still, an Amazon spokeswoman said, "We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible." No questions asked. When the Daily Caller pushed for an explanation, she said, "because we don't want to be biased whatsoever," said the spokeswoman.

If it's bias they're worried about, then what on earth are they doing with an organization that even Politico argues "abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred?" Politico's Ben Schreckinger, like the Wall Street Journal, became suspicious of the former "civil rights group" when it started "labeling legitimate players 'hate groups' and 'extremists' to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax." As more and more conservatives find themselves on the losing end of political correctness, people want to know: why would anyone – let alone Amazon or Google – trust SPLC to treat their users fairly?

Facebook, for its part, seemed less enthusiastic about SPLC's involvement, insisting that they aren't nearly as reliant on Dees's group as the other three. "The SPLC is on a list of 'external experts and organizations' that Facebook works with 'to inform our hate speech policies,' Facebook's Ruchika Budhraja told the Daily Caller. "Budhraja emphasized that Facebook's definition of 'hate group' is distinct from the SPLC's definition and said that Facebook consults with groups across the political spectrum.

"We have our own process and our processes are different and I think that's why we get the criticism [from the SPLC], because organizations that are hate organizations by their standards don't match ours," Budhraja said. "That doesn't mean that we don't have a process in place, and that definitely doesn't mean we want the platform to be a place for hate but we aren't going to map to the SPLC's list or process."

That doesn't sit too well with SPLC, who last month took a major swipe Facebook for not doing enough to stop the wave of supposed anti-Muslim sentiment. "While Facebook has made strides in removing hateful content with anti-Muslim hate," the group argues, "it faces a challenge that infects all of American society. In the end, the company will have to decide what it values most. Today, anti-Muslim content finds a home on Facebook."

Dennis Prager describes the SPLC as an anti-hate group that is a hate group. No wonder conservatives are banding together to call for "equal treatment on tech and social media" -- something these companies are ensuring is much easier said than done.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Complete the Mission

June 08, 2018

As summer begins and children around the nation look forward to a break from their studies, there is at least one American in this interlude who is left anxiously hoping he will be able to go back to school in the fall. As we shared yesterday, orchestra teacher John Kluge has been forced out of his job that he loves at Indiana's Brownsburg High School because he respectfully refuses to cave to political correctness and address students who identify as transgender by their "preferred" names.

Rather than encourage his students on a path that his conscience believes to be harmful, John for a few months was allowed to address all students simply by their last names. "I wanted to present an environment where I wasn't going to push one way or the other," he told the Indianapolis Star. The compromise that upheld his religious convictions and the dignity of his students appeared to be working. That is, until school administrators changed their tune and insisted that he must face the music: either submit, resign, or be fired.

After 35 years of Family Research Council standing for truth in the public square, we're not surprised by this change of events. We've heard this song of intolerance to religious expression before, and the theme seems to be rising in countless communities across America. However, as the Supreme Court's decision Monday in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips illustrated, we can win against anti-faith bullies -- if we don't give up.

To stand against the radical Left's orchestrated attacks takes extensive resources. As FRC approaches our fiscal year end in just three short weeks, we must finish this fiscal year strong and surge forward in the months ahead to continue advancing a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.

We cannot slow down or pullback on our strategies in the nation's capital and around the country because of budgetary needs. Not when there are courageous individuals like John Kluge who are trying to humbly live out their faith. We must not let faithful believers -- whether in the schools, pulpits, military, or their own neighborhoods -- stand alone. But to translate this vision into reality, we need your help!

To meet our fiscal year budget goals, friends of FRC have generously put forward a $650,000 Matching Challenge through the end of the month. That means that any gift you give before midnight June 30 will be combined with these challenge funds to have double the impact for faith, family, and freedom.

The needs and opportunities are great, but we know we serve the living God who is great, and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3, ESV). Will you help us complete the mission? Join us today!


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


FRC in the Spotlight...

June 08, 2018

Don't miss FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin, as he talks with Fox News's Shannon Bream about President Trump hosting an iftar dinner for Muslims and how that might impact Middle East relations.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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