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A selective smile at Amazon

GOP lawmakers say the retailer’s donation feature is biased against conservatives

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies via videoconference during a House subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in late July. Associated Press/Photo by Graeme Jennings (pool)

A selective smile at Amazon

WASHINGTON—Jeff Bezos, head of the retail giant Amazon, found himself in the crosshairs of House Republicans this week. Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin led a group of 15 GOP lawmakers who signed a letter pressing the CEO for more information on possible bias against conservative organizations taking part in the retailer’s charity-supporting program.

Amazon Smile has contributed almost $200 million to charities throughout the United States since 2013. But the retailer uses the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, among other organizations, to help pick eligible groups.

“Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC as a barometer to determine the eligibility of charitable organizations on Amazon Smile serves to discriminate against conservative views,” the letter argued.

On its map designating “hate groups,” the SPLC lists the Ku Klux Klan alongside mainstream Christian organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council. Meanwhile, abortion giant Planned Parenthood qualifies to receive charity money from Amazon Smile.

The use of the SPLC “reinforces allegations that Big Tech is biased against conservatives and censors conservative views,” the lawmakers noted.

One of the signatories, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, grilled Bezos over Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC at a House hearing in late July. Bezos admitted the system to select eligible organizations was “imperfect” and said he was open to improvements. He has not yet responded to the Republicans’ request for a briefing.

Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a former WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate.



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