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Facebook-funded American Edge waged a secret war on regulation


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In early March, weeks after senators introduced a sweeping bill to increase competition in the tech industry, a regional newspaper more than 2,000 miles from Silicon Valley ran defensive comment.

“Instead of attacking these digital platforms, we must work with these companies on innovation and access so our businesses can survive,” Clayton Stanley, president and CEO of The Alliance, a Northeast economic development organization Mississippi, wrote in the Mississippi Business Journal.

The argument repeated warnings on comment pages across the country, from Orange County, California, to Nashua, NH, and a nationwide publicity campaign featuring Stanley himself claiming Washington’s “misguided” agenda is a danger to America’s small businesses.

However, the ads were not funded by local companies, but by American Edge, a political advocacy group founded by a single company: Facebook.

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