Facebook Made $120,000 Contribution to CPAC Amid Concerns About the Social Network’s Involvement in Politics

A pillar of famously liberal Silicon Valley is underwriting Washington’s biggest gathering of conservatives.

Sources with direct knowledge of the matter tell The Daily Beast that Facebook made a six-figure contribution to CPAC, the yearly conference for conservative activists which will feature President Donald Trump, White House advisor Steve Bannon, NRA president Wayne LaPierre, and other right-wing favorites.

Facebook’s contribution is worth more than $120,000, according to our sources. Half of that is cash, and the other half is in-kind support for CPAC’s operations. Facebook will have a space at the conference for attendees to film Facebook Live videos, and will also train people on best practices for using the social network and Instagram.

Matt Schlapp—chairman of the American Conservative Union, which funds the gathering—told The Daily Beast his group welcomes Facebook’s participation.

“We are glad Facebook agreed to be at CPAC and to acknowledge the importance of conservatives to their company, and we continue to work with them on issues important to conservatives,” he said.

“Facebook participates in events hosted by organizations across the political spectrum,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “Our presence allows us to facilitate an open dialogue where people can share their views and create content to engage their audiences, just as we did during other political events such as the Republican and Democratic Party conventions. Our involvement is not an endorsement of any particular position or platform.”

Facebook also regularly sponsors Netroots Nation, an annual conference for progressive activists. This isn’t the first year it has sponsored CPAC.

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SOURCE: BETSY WOODRUFF 
The Daily Beast