Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter Monday to Amazon calling out the company for allegedly excluding conservative groups from their AmazonSmile charity program.
“Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC means that Amazon takes a biased approach to determining whether certain non-profits can participate in AmazonSmile,” the letter said. “For example, Amazon offers its customers the opportunity to donate to pro-abortion Planned Parenthood, but not to certain conservative groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom or Family Research Council.” (RELATED: Amazon Board Of Directors Tells Investors To Reject Proposal To End Viewpoint Discrimination)
????#BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan, @RepMattGaetz, and @JudiciaryGOP send new letter to @JeffBezos & @amazon blasting the company for excluding certain conservative non-profits from participating in Amazon’s charity-support program. pic.twitter.com/S3FCgO1s3G
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) August 24, 2020
AmazonSmile is a charitable program that allows users to donate a percentage of the cost of their purchase to the charity of their choice. The lawmakers take issue with the fact that Amazon relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to determine whether or not charities are listed on the website.
“Amazon actively prevents such conservative groups from participating because of how the SPLC has labeled these organizations as ‘hate groups,'” they added. “The exclusion of these conservative groups from Amazon’s heavily-trafficked digital platform leads to less exposure for these groups and fewer opportunities for donations. In this way, Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC as a barometer to determine the eligibility of charitable organizations on AmazonSmile serves to discriminate against conservative views.”
The SPLC has placed some conservative charities on a list alongside actual hate groups like the KKK, the letter noted, and has “received criticism for its business practices, internal culture, and approach to identifying and publicizing certain ‘hate groups.'”
The lawmakers requested a briefing on how AmazonSmile uses the SPLC to determine which charities are listed on the website.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz are among the 15 Republican committee members who signed the letter.
“The fact that Amazon allows you to give your money to Planned Parenthood, but not the Alliance for Defending Freedom is wrong,” Jordan told the Daily Caller. “If big tech doesn’t stop this bias against conservatives, they’ll face the consequences.”