Twitter has started its own political action committee that will be staffed with lobbyists to do its bidding and try to sweet talk Congress and the Belt Way into see things its way. It's a trend for West Coast tech giants been going on for years now.
Personally, I don't see how they can avoid it given the political climate we're in and the two-party system that we've got.
Political spending from Silicon Valley has increased over the years as Apple, Facebook, and Google as they try to get their agendas heard.
However, I do see this a bit differently than say companies like Wall Street, oil giants, and others in that most of the political dollars being spent are more of a defensive nature than, say, investment banks trying to influence policies to making it easier to line their own pockets or open up more federal land for drilling.
Of course, for social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, they are looking to make sure that they can still make money off their users and that, yes, free speech is definitely important to them, so is making sure privacy policies are not set so stringent that they cannot sell their users ads or services based on what they know about them.
At the time same, I have to wonder about the issues that many of these tech companies on the West Coast will support. Sure, patents, technology, speech, and privacy are going to be major issues for social media companies. West Coast companies are also more liberal and have greater stake in social issues as well.
Apple and Google came out in support of SCOTUS decision on gay marriage but you don't see Exxon or Bank of America caring about that one bit. And it's also tech companies that are building new offices and facilities that rely more on renewable sources of energy than companies from other industries.
Personally, I think lobbyists are just blood suckers but if tech giants can also push through Washington on issues important to the West, it could be a good thing.