Report: Facebook To Halt Political Donations After Capitol Riot

(Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Facebook is pausing political donations for at least the first quarter of 2021 following last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol, according to an Axios report Monday.

Company spokesman Andy Stone told Axios that Facebook will temporarily suspend all political contributions from its political action committee and plans to launch a review of its political spending practices. The move comes after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building Jan. 6 in an attempt to disrupt the Electoral College certification process.

While contributions from tech employees predominantly go to Democratic candidates, corporate political action committees in the industry donate to candidates from both parties. Facebook donated roughly $152,000 each to both Republicans and Democrats according to OpenSecrets campaign finance data.

Stone also confirmed in a statement to The Hill that the tech giant will review its spending practices and potentially extend its donation freeze beyond the first quarter.

“Following last week’s awful violence in DC, we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter while we review our policies,” he said. (RELATED: Five People Died In The Capitol Riot. Here’s What We Know About Them)

Microsoft also announced a similar freeze and spending review Monday but told Axios that the company “regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress.”

Other tech companies are likely to follow suit amid reports of growing pushback from employees. “This is the death knell of PACs for tech companies with activist employees,” one unnamed source told Axios. “This is the final straw.”

Major banks including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup announced over the weekend they plan to temporarily freeze all political contributions following the riot. Some corporations including Marriott and Morgan Stanley said they would suspend PAC contributions to lawmakers who voted against certifying the election results, according to The New York Times.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s accounts after the Capitol riot while conservative social media users reported they were losing large quantities of followers.