Twitter is taking a cue from other tech sites like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook by creating its own political action committee, formally known as Twitter#PAC.
Twitter has registered its first lobbyist, William Carty, and also hired former congressional staffer Nu Wexler to join their team on Friday. Carty previously worked as the policy director for Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee, while Wexler used to work for Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and the public affairs firm Rasky Baerlein.
The 200-million-user platform is starting small, when you compare to their counterparts:
Google’s PAC (NetPAC) spent almost half a million dollars in campaign contributions in one month, but the search giant isn’t the only tech lobby buying in big. Microsoft bolstered its anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA agenda by spending over $88,000 toward lawmakers. And Facebook, which has fought for user privacy and immigration reform along K Street since 2011, donated almost one million toward lobbying in a single quarter.
Twitter’s lobbying efforts come just a month after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents that outlined the scope of the government’s surveillance of Americans’ Internet metadata. But unlike Facebook and Google, Twitter has a more limited scope of available user information. Despite the limits Twitter users face by only being able to conjure up 140 characters per tweet, Twitter has been relatively open with users about what information it has handed over to the government.
While Twitter was not listed as a participant of the NSA’s spying program, the company’s most recent bi-annual report nudged in the path of their eventual agenda, noting a spike in information requests from government officials, as well as a spike in requests for content removal, within the past six months.