A dozen liberal groups that pressured Twitter advertisers to boycott the platform in response to Elon Musk’s plans to acquire it received money from entities backed by Bill Gates and George Soros, an analysis of public filings shows.
In early May, a group of 26 organizations penned a public letter claiming that the Tesla CEO’s takeover of Twitter would “be a direct threat to public safety” and turn the platform into “a cesspool of misinformation.” The letter called for Twitter’s top advertisers to “hold [Musk] to account” by committing to “non-negotiable” standards for doing business with the site, one of which is to not restore the accounts of political and public figures banned for “egregious violations of Twitter Rules.” The letter contained the logos of Accountable Tech, Media Matters for America, and UltraViolet Action.
An analysis of the public filings and records shows that at least 11 of the letter’s signatories or their affiliated groups have taken money from organizations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the three groups leading the letter has received over $1 million from billionaire financer George Soros’s grant-making network Open Society Foundations, while the two others were founded in part by former staffers for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Eight signatories also collected roughly $10.25 million in federal grants and loans between 2020 and 2021, public records show.
The New Venture Fund, the recipient of more than $500 million in grants from the Gates Foundation since 2012, in 2020 gave $180,000 in total to two signees, Media Matters for America and Center for Media Justice. Another $11.2 million of the New Venture Fund’s 2020 grant money went to North Fund, a shadowy progressive nonprofit based in Washington that funnels money to a number of other activist groups, including Accountable Tech, which published the letter.
Accountable Tech’s website shows that two members on its team—its co-founder and digital director—worked for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
By Eva Fu