DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, dropped conservative cable networks Newsmax and OAN. AT&T previously banned advertising on Breitbart News, although the CEO later changed this decision after receiving pushback. The company was involved in a controversy surrounding the cancellation of a Trump campaign texting program, though the company and its industry peers claimed that a third-party anti-spam detection software caused the problem rather than political intervention. AT&T does not discriminate against religious charities in its charitable giving. However, it funds the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression. The company does not have viewpoint protections for its employees. For these reasons, AT&T receives a High Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, dropped conservative news networks Newsmax in January 2023, and One America News (OAN) in March 2022 (1)(2)(3). Newsmax alleged censorship, but AT&T and DirecTV have rebutted that the decision was based on failed negotiations over cable fees (4)(5). AT&T’s advertising unit formerly blacklisted Breitbart, though the CEO reversed course after pressure from conservatives (6). AT&T, along with other major telecommunications companies, cut off the Trump campaign’s texting service for five days in the 2020 election cycle. Each company claimed it was a third-party anti-spam decision, although the Trump campaign thought the decision might have been politically motivated (7). AT&T received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the HRC. Among other requirements, this means the company has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (8).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.
AT&T does not protect its employees against viewpoint discrimination (1).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
AT&T advocates for the Equality Act and transgender participation in girls and women’s sports (1)(2). AT&T also opposed various state legislature’s efforts to secure their elections with voting integrity bills (3). AT&T opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (4). AT&T is committed to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals (5).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
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March 21, 2023
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