A social-networking company is increasing its outreach to federal legislators and regulators and going beyond its messages of 140 characters.
Twitter Inc. has registered to lobby the executive and legislative branches in areas of copyright/patent/trademarks, consumers, foreign relations and telecommunications. Specifically, they will lobby on issues related to patent reform, privacy, Internet freedom and net neutrality. Their lobbyist will be Republican William Carty, Twitter's manager of public policy. Carty was former policy director on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and former senior policy counselor on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. View lobby registration.
Twitter Inc. also announced that it was setting up a federal political action committee, Twitter#PAC, with the Federal Election Commission.
Twitter Inc. was founded in 2006 and is based in San Francisco. In the past, Twitter executives have been active in giving political contributions directly to candidates and parties. In June, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams gave $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee, and in October 2012, he gave $10,000 to a Democratic-oriented super PAC, End the Gridlock. In September 2012, CEO Richard Costolo gave to $2,500 to Obama for America, as well as to Democratic Party committees in Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Colin Crowell, Twitter head of Global Public Policy, gave $1,000 to the Senate campaign of Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.
Search other Twitter executive contributions by using "Twitter" in our Donor Search By Employer/Occupation.
Twitter Inc. follows other Internet-related companies in realizing they can't ignore Congress and federal regulators. Facebook Inc. started a PAC in 2011, and in 2011-2012 gave out $270,000 in contributions. Facebook has spent $5,750,000 lobbying in the last 12 months. Google Inc. started a PAC in 2006, and in 2011-2012 gave out $1,015,500 to candidates and committees. Google has spent $14,240,000 lobbying in the last 12 months.
Correction: 1:34 p.m., Aug. 12
An earlier version of this post misspelled Colin Crowell's name.