Silicon Valley's biggest billionaires have reportedly poured millions into a super PAC-run series of anti-Trump TV ads ahead of Election Day
- Silicon Valley billionaires like Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt have poured millions into a Democratic super PAC that is behind a slew of anti-Trump TV ads in the home stretch to Election Day, per a Recode report.
- The super PAC is spending more than $100 million on TV ads in support of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, an amount that surpasses any other group's spending.
- The report comes as the tech world continues to fight off Republicans' claims that the industry harbors an anti-conservative bias on online platforms.
- It also comes after reports that employees from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and others have collectively donated $4.8 million to Biden since 2019 — nearly 20 times as much as they have given to Trump.
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Some of Silicon Valley's biggest tech leaders have poured millions of dollars into a secretive Democratic super PAC that has booked a series of television ads speaking out against President Donald Trump in the lead-up to the election, according to a Tuesday report from Recode's Teddy Schleifer.
Per the outlet, Dustin Moskovitz, a cofounder of both Facebook and Asana, has donated at least $22 million, Twilio founder Jeff Lawson and his wife have donated $6 million, and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave $750,000 to the super PAC Future Forward since September. The funds raised equal to $66 million in the 45-day period between Sept 1 and Oct 15, a sum that Future Forward plans to report to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, according to Recode.
Much of that has gone to a series of anti-Trump television ads to run from Sept 29 through Election Day, representing the largest amount of ad spending funds put toward support of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
Future Forward has reportedly been both testing and creating ads over the course of the year, developing over 100 different spots with other Democratic groups. Per the report, only a dozen of them have aired so far. But that changed in September — the super PAC aired or booked over $100 million of television ads between Sept 29 and Nov 3, according to the media-tracking firm Advertising Analytics as Recode reports. The TV ad spending represents four times as much outside spending shelled out for pro-Biden messaging as the second closest Democratic group, Independence USA.
According to the report, Moskovitz did his fair share of research to determine how to most effectively use ads in the lead-up to the election. He reportedly concluded that running ads right before Election Day would be best for optimizing the ads' impact.
The super PAC and other Democratic entities have also been working to elect Texas Democrat MJ Hegar to the US Senate, according to Recode.
Future Forward was founded in 2018 and says its mission is to "help rebuild America's middle class" and the nation's democracy, according to its website. According to the report, the group has purposefully stayed under the radar.
The news comes as what has been called one of the most important presidential elections in modern US history looms just weeks away.
Tech leaders aren't the only ones reported to be funding a Biden win. A Wired report earlier this month found that employees at Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google's parent company Alphabet, Microsoft, and Oracle have poured $4.8 million into support for Biden to win since 2019. That's 20 times as much as tech workers have donated to President Trump.
It's no secret that Silicon Valley has long leaned left, though some tech execs have come out in support of President Trump. But the Recode report comes as tech firms work to push back against Republicans' long-held but disproven theory that they actively work against conservatives on their platforms and limit the reach of right-leaning content. The right's perception of anti-conservative bias on tech platforms reportedly prompted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to green-light an algorithm that would limit traffic to left-leaning news publications.
And if anything, conservative content prospers on the site. A Facebook executive recently told Politico that's because "right-wing populism is always more engaging," since the platform's algorithm is designed to promote posts that it thinks people will find most captivating.
You can read the full report on Recode here.
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