Many companies celebrate ‘transparency’ when it comes to issues like diversity, gender identity, and climate change but remain silent on issues like free speech

Non-profit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has published this year’s Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, putting the spotlight on corporations with little respect for freedom of faith and speech that put Americans at risk of getting punished for their beliefs.

The index measures how tolerant a corporation is when it comes to respecting free speech and religious freedom. Out of the 75 major corporations evaluated in the index, only two businesses scored more than 25 percent out of a maximum 100 percent possible in terms of respect for speech and religion. ADF calls this a sign that millions of everyday U.S. citizens are at “risk of cancellation or punishment for their views,” according to a May 16 press release. Policies and practices at behemoths like JPMorgan Chase, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, and PayPal “threaten the fundamental freedoms” of Americans, it said.

Other low-scoring companies include Disney, Twitter, Pinterest, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, Alphabet, and Airbnb, with these firms scoring 5 percent or less. The firm that scored the highest in the index was Florida-based multinational Fidelity National Information Services at 50 percent.

This was followed by M&T Bank at 25 percent, BOK Financial at 17 percent, and Apollo Global Management and Fifth Third Bancorp at 15 percent each. Media conglomerate Fox scored 10 percent. Likewise, the remaining businesses scored less than 15 percent. Eight companies improved their score in this year’s edition of the index.

“Threats to freedom don’t just come from the government, but from major corporations like financial institutions and big tech companies that have concentrated power over essential services and communication channels,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco.

“Too often, these corporations de-bank or de-platform Americans, citing policies that give them unbounded discretion to censor people for their views. That needs to change. Companies need to take seriously the way their policies and practices can chill the exercise of speech and religion and deter individuals from participating in the democratic process.”

Low Scores, Discrimination at JPMorgan Chase

ADF pointed out that some companies did not participate in the survey part of the index, which is in stark contrast to companies celebrating “transparency” when it comes to issues like diversity, gender identity, and climate change.

A key factor in the poor performance of certain firms on the Viewpoint Diversity index is that the businesses implement policies that contain vague terms like “intolerance” and “hate,” which they use to censor content or deny service.

JPMorgan Chase, whose score fell to 9 percent from last year’s 15, has cited such policies while canceling accounts or denying payments to individuals and organizations that hold “mainstream American values.”

For instance, Chase de-banked the nonprofit National Committee for Religious Freedom without giving any clarifications.

On May 2, state attorneys general from 19 states sent a letter (pdf) to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, asking that the corporation “stop its religious and politically biased discrimination and start living up to its commitment to an inclusive society where everyone feels welcomed, equal, and included.”

Pushing Back Against Corporate Wokism

Like ADF, other organizations are also taking steps to expose woke corporations that compromise American values. Nonprofit Consumers’ Research has launched an initiative called “Woke Alert” that monitors and notifies people about progressive and “dangerous ideas” pushed forward by corporations.

People can sign up for Woke Alert notifications through the Consumers’ Research website. Members will begin receiving alerts from the nonprofit about any company that pushes a leftist woke agenda as well as reasons driving such actions.

“Many corporations are putting progressive activists and their dangerous agendas ahead of customers. They’ll only succeed if we look the other way,” according to the initiative.

Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly getting frustrated at companies pushing the woke agenda and are increasingly lashing out against such brands.

The most recent famous example is that of Anheuser-Busch. The sale of Bud Light cases made by the corporation fell by 10.7 percent in the week ending April 8, and by 21 percent in the week ending April 15, after the brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney—a move many brand loyalists considered a push against their values.

Recently, many female customers have reportedly begun boycotting women’s clothing brand Anthropologie after the firm cast a male model dressed up in female clothes in an advertisement.

In the Viewpoint Diversity Index’ FAQ section, a question was asked whether private companies ought to be bound by the First Amendment.

“No. Private companies are not legally obligated to follow the Constitution. Nevertheless, First Amendment case law is the world’s richest repository of practical wisdom on how to create a culture committed to truly open discourse—where diverse citizens of many different faiths, philosophies, and persuasions can speak their minds and honor their deepest convictions without fear of punishment and retaliation,” replied the company.


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