Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, Twitter, and Microsoft are the largest tech companies in the world by market capitalization. We all use some of their products on a daily basis, spending hours a day on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube using Apple or Samsung phones and Microsoft computers. They are extremely influential – and they are regularly engaging in progressive ideological activism.
2ndVote is an organization that tracks the political activities of corporations, and assigns them a score on a scale of 1 (the most left-wing) to 5 (the most right-wing) on a variety of topics, from abortion to gun control to religious liberty. If you scroll through the 2ndVote database for “celebrity” companies, you will find they are repeatedly engaging in political activity.
Amazon, for instance, donates to “charities” that fund Planned Parenthood, and Population Council, an organization that advocates abortion as a means of poverty reduction in countries with high population densities. Twitter co-sponsored corporate campaigns opposed to religious liberty in Indiana and Georgia. Facebook donates to Girls Inc., a pro-choice organization. Apple does donation-matching for the Brady Campaign, a hardline anti-gun group.
These are just a few select examples, but on 2ndVote’s website, you can look at these companies yourselves and see the extensive list of transparently partisan activity. Almost all these corporations have a high score from the Human Rights Campaign, which indicates conformity to progressive doctrine on gender and sexuality. Using their database, we produced a comparison of the total score for these big-tech companies with the average score for all 907 companies in the database as a benchmark.
This chart merely illustrates the obvious: big tech is biased against conservatives. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Samsung, and Google all have the lowest possible score, which is to say they are monolithically left-wing according to 2ndVote’s metrics. Twitter and Amazon are slightly more mixed in their political dealings, but they still fall below the average. Remember that these are not merely the largest tech companies – by market capitalization, they are some of the largest companies of any kind in the entire world. A major sector of our economy, one that exercises immense influence on our daily lives, has become a nearly-unmitigated bastion of ideological activism.
How can these corporations pretend to be unbiased when we see their transparently biased activities laid out in plain view? How can they represent, and in many cases police, the country as a whole (conservatives, liberals, and moderates included) when they are consistently aligning themselves with the interests of one particular faction? How can we expect them to treat dissenters fairly when they routinely show themselves to be interested in advancing ideological objectives?
That is the heart of the problem: ideological dissent and viewpoint diversity. Even if one believes that the intellectual monopoly that has taken hold of big tech is natural and not artificially enforced, a considerable stretch of the imagination, it is still necessary to allow room for other points of view. If a company is composed almost totally of leftists and liberals – and perhaps a few conservatives who have been implicitly forced into silence – it simply will not represent the full range of opinion in the nation. It will tend towards the sort of overtly political objectives that 2ndVote has laid out. It will support causes that run against the business interests of its investors, as happened in Indiana and Georgia. And we will be, or should be, unsurprised when such a company bans dissenters selectively from its platform.
Shareholders, who are the ultimate owners of any publicly traded corporation, need to advocate for viewpoint diversity at these companies. Diversity measures for race, gender, and sexuality are very much in fashion, but there is a conspicuous absence of any attempt to protect, or encourage the hiring of, employees with different ideologies. In fact, the leadership of Amazon and Twitter recently shot down shareholder resolutions that would have helped encourage viewpoint diversity at their companies. It is imperative that shareholders pressure tech corporations to stop their biased, political dealings, and that cannot happen if the unmitigated political monoculture continues to be big-tech’s modus operandi.
We need to publicly support resolutions that will ensure protections for employees who disagree with the prevailing culture, and advocate for measures encouraging the hiring of employees with different points of view. When decisions are made about what “charities” to finance, and what causes to support, there need to be conservatives at the table. No company can claim to be diverse if their employees are pressured into doctrinal conformity. No company can claim to be acting solely in the interest of shareholders if they support political objectives unrelated to their fiduciary responsibilities. And no company can claim to represent the entire country if they repeatedly advocate for exclusively left-wing causes.