Facebook likely to quit ALEC

Facebook likely to quit ALEC

Facebook Inc. is likely to end its support for the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

A Facebook spokesman said the company is re-evaluating its membership in ALEC, days after Silicon Valley neighbor Google Inc. said it would stop funding the group due to its opposition to climate change policies.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress, so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015,” the spokesman said.

Facebook did not specify whether ALEC’s climate change positions are playing into the social media giant’s decision.

ALEC lobbies state governments for conservative and pro-business policies, but Google said the group’s positions regarding energy and opposition to policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions do not match the scientific consensus. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said ALEC is “literally lying” on climate change.

Yahoo! Inc. has been pressured by environmental groups to quit ALEC, but the company defended itself earlier this year, saying its involvement is limited to technology policies.

Yelp Inc., which has also weathered criticism for being an ALEC member, said Wednesday that it let its membership lapse months ago.

In a statement, spokesman Luther Lowe said Yelp joined ALEC in 2013 for the sole purpose of advocating for legislation to reduce unnecessarily defamation lawsuits.

— This story was updated at 1:36 p.m.