FB, Google, Microsoft halt political contributions after Capitol riot

Facebook, Google and Microsoft have announced that they were freezing political contributions from their political action committees (PAC) in the wake of the January 6 riot in the US Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters.

“Following last week’s awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies,” Xinhua news agency quoted Facebook spokesman Andy Stone as saying in a statement on Monday.

Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would pause contributions from its PAC.

“We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week’s deeply troubling events,” a Google spokesperson said.

Microsoft said the company is halting its political spending until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events.

“The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees,” the company said in a statement.

Also on Monday night, Amazon announced that it will pause donations from its PAC to lawmakers who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.

“We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those Members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

The attack on the Capitol building took place on January 6 while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Before the violence, Trump, who has claimed that their election was invalid because there was massive fraud, told a rally of his supporters before the Congress session began to go there.

A section of his supporters stormed the Capital and invaded the Senate chamber and the offices of the Speaker and others, bring the session to a halt and evacuating the legislators to safe places.

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.

Congress met later and put its seal on the election of Biden and Harris, who will be sworn-in on January 20.