Of the four major lobbying groups that Facebook has hired to lobby in Washington on its behalf, three have severed their ties with the social networking site. Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock; the Glover Park Group; and TeleMedia Policy Group have all walked away from the money Facebook was throwing their way to give the site a voice in Congress, citing “conflict” concerns, according to a recent Politico report.
Facebook, which has one of the strongest and most organized lobbying platform among players in the online social market, now only has one major firm in its back pocket, Elmendorf Ryan. The site spent $1.35 million on lobbying in 2011, compared to just $351,000 in 2010. Much of that went to the organizations that are no longer supporting it. What this means is those lobbying groups most likely received pressure to axe Facebook from content provider clients, who are increasingly on the opposite side of the aisle from companies like Facebook.
It would be like a lobbying group that supported both YouTube and Viacom. Facebook, however, hasn’t really been looked at as a beacon of Internet piracy. Nevertheless, there is a digital divide happening right now, and even though the American public is on the side of companies like Facebook and Google, the money and power in Washington is on the other side. Politico quoted lobbyists and other sources as saying Facebook will have no trouble locking in other lobbying contracts with new firms, but this is a clear sign that the efforts put into place by the SOPA and PIPA bills are still carrying on.