Over 30 conservative leaders call on big tech to cut ties with far-left Southern Poverty Law Center
April 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Thirty-four conservative leaders, including LifeSiteNews’ own editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, have signed new open letters calling on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon to end their association with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The left-wing organization is notorious for its efforts to ostracize mainstream conservative groups under the guise of monitoring “hate” and “extremism.”
The latest statements are motivated in part by last week’s news that Twitter is no longer working with SPLC as one of its “Safety Partners” to help weed out “hateful conduct and harassment” on the platform, Breitbart reports. Led by Media Research Center founder and president L. Brent Bozell III, the coalition is calling on Twitter to make a formal announcement about its future with SPLC, warning it not to backslide, and demanding that other companies drop SPLC as well.
“If it is true” that Twitter is cutting ties with SPLC, “we will happily applaud this decision publicly,” the letter to Twitter reads. “As outlined in our previous letter, SPLC has proven over and over again to be a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization and nothing more than a weapon of the radical Left, whose goal is to bully people into compliance with their ideology."
“If Twitter maintains any relationship with the SPLC in an advisory capacity, it is embracing a bigoted, hypocritical organization with a hate-filled agenda,” it continues. “Immediately issuing a public statement cutting any and all ties with the SPLC would restore Twitter’s credibility on this issue.”
“The lack of a public response from Facebook, Google, and Amazon, however, indicates they continue to affiliate themselves with the hypocritical SPLC,” reads the letter to the other tech giants. “The American public deserves an answer. We ask the CEOs of these tech giants again — will your company continue to align itself with an anti-conservative, anti-Christian organization accused of harboring systemic racism or will you do the right thing and publicly sever ties with them?”
Among the other signatories of the statements are American Principles Project executive director Terry Schilling, retired Army Lt. Col. and U.S. Rep. Allen West, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, Catholic League president Bill Donohue, and longtime conservative activists Morton Blackwell, Gary Bauer, and Richard Viguerie.
SPLC has long been controversial for its history of labeling mainstream Christian and/or conservative organizations – including Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, the Ruth Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Jihad Watch – “hate groups” to be blacklisted from various online platforms and services. The organization has managed to pressure companies like Mastercard and GoFundMe to (temporarily, in some cases) deny services to conservative figures and groups.
Over the past year it’s suffered a series of blows, such as being forced to make a public apology and pay $3.4 million in defamation damages to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation, the ouster of co-founder Morris Dees for “inappropriate conduct,” and testimony from insiders that the organization is a “highly profitable scam” and that Dees saw “civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.”
Despite the ongoing scandals, Twitter appears to be the only major tech company distancing itself from SPLC. Facebook, Google, and Amazon continue to partner with SPLC to varying degrees to help determine which users to exclude and content to restrict on their platforms.
Dozens of center-right organizations are currently considering defamation suits against SPLC, and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has called on the IRS to investigate the center for $121 million in offshore assets the organization keeps in non-U.S. equity funds.