UNFAIR: Woke Tech Company Slack Bans Conservative Group From Platform

Billionaire Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, Slack's parent company (Getty Images)
June 16, 2022

Slack banned the immigration restrictionist group Federation for American Immigration Reform from using any of its services for allegedly violating the company’s terms of service.

A Slack employee informed FAIR of the ban on Wednesday but did not provide any rationale other than that they violated the company's "Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy," according to emails reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon

The ban, imposed on one of the largest anti-immigration policy groups in the country, comes as part of a broader trend from tech companies arbitrarily censoring conservative groups and individuals. Under the guise of policing "misinformation" and "hate speech," companies such as Twitter have barred users from sharing articles about Hunter Biden's laptop or criticism of left-wing gender ideology. Although Slack has banned its services in countries facing U.S. sanctions such as Russia, the move appears to be the first against a domestic nonprofit.

Slack’s terms of service prohibit clients from engaging "in activity that incites or encourages violence or hatred against individuals or groups," although the Free Beacon could not identify any incidents from FAIR that violated this policy. FAIR describes itself as a "non-partisan, public interest organization with a support base comprising nearly 50 private foundations and over 1.9 million diverse members and supporters" dedicated to reducing U.S. immigration levels.

FAIR president Dan Stein wrote to Slack on Thursday demanding the company "preserve all internal communications involving this decision in anticipation of probable litigation." Stein also alleged that Slack violated FAIR’s contract by shutting down the account without notice or prior warning.

"You should be advised that FAIR is well aware that there are government actors who are actively trying to censor Americans’ right to freedom of speech and their use of tech platforms, including particular individuals at the Department of Homeland Security," Stein wrote. "Evidence that there was intervention by government officials in this matter would be of supreme interest not only to FAIR but to the general public."

A spokesman for Slack told the Free Beacon it banned FAIR because it violated the company's policy forbidding incitement of hatred or violence and that the nonprofit is "affiliated with a known hate group."

"When we learn of an organization using Slack for illegal, harmful or other prohibited purposes, we conduct an investigation and take appropriate action in accordance with our policy," the spokesman said.

Slack is owned by Salesforce, a software company valued at more than $160 billion and chaired by left-wing activist Marc Benioff. Over the years, Benioff has earned the moniker "Tech’s woke CEO" by making Salesforce a champion of left-wing values.

Benioff has generously donated to various Democratic politicians such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. In 2019, he announced that Salesforce would no longer do business with any company that sells certain types of firearms or ammunition magazines. Last September, Salesforce said it would pay to relocate any employees in Texas who feared they could not get abortions.

The move from Slack follows years of censorship campaigns against conservatives. In January, Facebook banned a conservative publisher from advertising children’s books about U.S. presidents for allegedly violating the company’s "standards."

Many of these platforms, such as Twitter, have appointed left-wing ideologues in charge of content moderation. In May, the Free Beacon reported on Twitter’s lead censor Yoel Roth’s history of calling Trump officials "actual Nazis" and his decision to block the sharing of an October 2020 New York Post report on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop because he believed the Russian government may have been involved in its publication.

Whistleblower documents obtained earlier this month by Republican senators Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) revealed that the Department of Homeland Security’s now-shuttered Disinformation Governance Board intended on working with such tech companies as Twitter to police content. DHS terminated the Disinformation Governance Board following bipartisan outrage amid controversy over its then-executive director Nina Jankowicz, who had spread conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden’s laptop and called for lawmakers to outlaw "awful but lawful" content on social media platforms.

Stein said Slack's conduct should have other conservative organizations on notice going into the November midterm elections.

"You could be next," Stein said.