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Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook is halting political spending for at least the first quarter of 2021 following last week's deadly attack on the Capitol.

Why it matters: Tech companies have been de-platforming President Donald Trump and his supporters at a rapid pace since the attacks, and freezing political giving may be the next step tech companies take to show they're seriously rethinking their approach to Washington.

Details: Facebook will freeze all contributions from its political action committee and is launching a review of its political spending practices, company spokesman Andy Stone told Axios.

The big picture: Microsoft also said in a statement Monday that it is pausing political giving "until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events." Google spokesman José Castañeda said "We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week's deeply troubling events."

  • Historically, tech PACs have given to both Republican and Democratic candidates, sometimes rankling Silicon Valley's predominantly left-leaning workers. Microsoft said its PAC "regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees."
  • Major banks and other corporations have also frozen corporate political giving in the wake of the attack. Other tech companies are likely to follow suit.

Between the lines: "This is the death knell of PACs for tech companies with activist employees," one source told Axios. "This is the final straw."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add new information about Microsoft and Google pausing their own PAC activity.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."