Georgia Group Demands Transparency on Mark Zuckerberg’s Political Donations

An ex-GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler led a voting integrity group that filed Monday a lawsuit demanding transparency about $5.6 million donated last year by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the Georgia Secretary Of State’s Office and used on the highly contested 2020 presidential election.

Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg’s wife, spent $45 million in Georgia in the 2020 election cycle. This included the January 2021 Senate race. A watchdog group reported that the Georgian Watchdog Group noticed a significant increase in Democrat turnout.

According to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), the grant money given by the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) in Georgia and throughout the country was heavily geared toward Democratic-leaning countries. Although the grant money was billed as being election safety grants during the coronavirus epidemic, the foundation found that only a small amount was actually used for personal protective gear in any of the states it examined.

Based on the FGA analysis, the CTCL gave approximately four times as much in its Zuckerberg-financed grants for blue counties in Georgia than it gave to red counties.

The CTCL provided grants of $29 million to Georgia counties in 2020 for Biden’s win. This was at a rate of $7.13 per registered voter. The center, on the other hand, gave $2.3million in grants to Trump-winning counties at an average $1.91 per voter. Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb were the counties that received the most grants in the run-up to the election. 

Zuckerberg spent a grand total of $350 million in the leadup to the 2020 election.

“The Zuckerberg funding is an unprecedented example of using government employees and government resources to put your finger on the scale, to affect the election outcome. It would be like giving private money to police departments to have officers do more stop and frisk in certain neighborhoods compared to other neighborhoods. It would be like giving money to the tax department to do increased audits in certain zip codes or neighborhoods versus other neighborhoods,” said Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Zuckerberg’s social media platform Facebook is recently trying to improve its reputation and turn it around after a string of PR disasters including misinformation on Facebook platforms, content moderation failures, and revelations about the adverse effects its products have on users’ mental health.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do,”  Zuckerberg said last month.

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