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Congress can't stay away from Big Tech

Members of Congress have mentioned major tech companies more than any other type of company over the past decade, according to data compiled by Quorum. Facebook has by far experienced the most mentions, with Google coming in at a distant second.

Adapted from Quorum; Note: Mentions include press releases, floor statements, email newsletters and social media; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: It's a reflection of lawmakers' recent obsession with technology-related issues that impact most of their constituents — like data privacy, security, smartphone addiction and election integrity.

  • It's also a reflection of the ubiquity of Facebook, Google and other tech firms for Americans, transcending social classes, geographies and political parties.

Congress has mentioned technology more than twice as many times as it's mentioned financial services. By mentions over the past ten years (methodology below):

  1. Technology (26,609)
  2. Financial services (13,577)
  3. Motor (7,171)
  4. Retail (6,531)
  5. Aerospace & Defense (5,102)
  6. Health care (5,049)
  7. Transportation (4,978)
  8. Telecommunications (4,604)

Facebook has become the most-discussed company, spiking during the Cambridge Analytica scandal that occurred earlier this year.

  • In total, 94.2% of 115th Congress have mentioned Facebook as a part of any official communications measured by Quorum.
  • Overall, mentions of Fortune 100 companies by members of Congress have steadily increased, per Quorom.
Adapted from Quorum; Note: Mentions include press releases, floor statements, email newsletters and social media; Chart: Axios Visuals

From June 2008 to June 2018, Facebook received more mentions than any other company in a given time period during this year's Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal, per Quorum. That includes financial services companies during their own scandals of account and bonus fraud.

  • Since then, Facebook also dealt with nearly constant controversy around policing content on the platform, accusations of bias, and its role in political disinformation campaigns.

For kicks: Most members of Congress aren't tech experts, although many have policy backgrounds that touch tech issues. There are only eight engineers in Congress (seven in the House and one in the Senate) and eight software company executives in Congress (six in the House and two in the Senate), per the Congressional Research Service.

Go deeper: Social media's new job: content cop.

Methodology: Mentions include press releases, floor statements, email newsletters and social media.

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