Conservative members of the House are asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to answer questions as to why some conservatives appear to have been banned from using Amazon Smile, an Amazon charity program.
“The exclusion of these conservative groups from Amazon’s heavily-trafficked digital platform leads to less exposure for these groups and fewer opportunities for donations,” the letter reads, which was obtained by Fox Business and signed by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
The Amazon charity program, Amazon Smile, according to its website, donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to the designated charitable organization with no added costs or fees but some conservative organizations are not allowed to use the program, which raised $100 million in 2018 for charities that took part, Fox News reported.
Amazon Smile follows the recommendations of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center on charitable organizations, and the Southern Poverty Law Center designates organizations like the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom as hate groups.
“Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC as a barometer to determine the eligibility of charitable organizations on AmazonSmile serves to discriminate against conservative views,” the letter reads, which was also signed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, and 13 other House Republicans.
The letter adds:
Amazon’s reliance on the SPLC as a barometer to determine the eligibility of charitable organizations on AmazonSmile serves to discriminate against conservative views.
In a June column, Heritage Foundation president Kay C. James decried the apparent censorship from Amazon.
While Amazon customers can use the AmazonSmile program to donate a portion of each purchase to left-leaning organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Center for American Progress (and to be fair, to many right-leaning organizations, too), Amazon has decided to single out a few well-known conservative organizations like FRC and ADF from receiving part of the tens of millions of dollars the program raises each year from customers.
James says that Amazon has a right to run its company the way it sees fit, but should also care about the rights of its consumers.
“While Amazon is within its rights as a private company to conduct its business the way it wants, consumers also have a right to complain to Amazon and to ultimately decide not to do business with the retailer if their complaints aren’t taken seriously.”