For a while after Joe Biden was recognized as the victor in the November presidential election, political punditry wondered which direction he would go: pro- or anti-Big Tech?
That has been clearly answered, as Biden installed several Silicon Valley influencers on his transition team, which in turn have helped populate his administration with former Big Tech executives.
Tops among them has been former Google/Alphabet CEO/Chairman Eric Schmidt, whose role hasn’t been formalized by name, but his presence certainly has been.
It’s not Schmidt’s ties to the search engine tech giant that are of greatest interest any more. Instead it’s his role as board member and top investor on a shiny new defense contractor that specializes in artificial intelligence technology, called Rebellion Defense, that is concerning because of a likely conflict of interest for Schmidt.
ShouldJoe Biden end up being the next President of the United States, former Alphabet (parent company of Google) CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt has been talked about the most as his top advisor for tech issues.
The Financial Times reported last week that Biden is looking to the big names in Silicon Valley to create an in-White-House tech task force, led by Schmidt. The article said Biden has already hired away top executives from Apple and Facebook for his prospective transition team. And according to CBS News, his political team is advised by executives with tech firms formed by Schmidt and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, both mega-donors for Biden’s election efforts.
Some far-leftists apparently held out hope that Biden might gravitate towards the Elizabeth Warren “break up Big Tech” perspective and embrace more big government regulation, especially after he approved an October … Read More ➡
Also indisputable is that Congress will be powerless to alter their behavior, with at least another two years of guaranteed gridlock preventing the removal of Big Tech’s exemption under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says the online companies are like telecoms AT&T and Verizon (meaning they are protected from litigation) rather than news producers like the New York Times and Fox News (not protected from litigation).
Sure, you can expect more hearings like the one before the Senate Commerce Committee the week before Election Day, in which CEOs Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter) were berated about their corporate underlings’ bias and censorship.
But it was just a repeat of previous Congressional theatrics: a lot of noise, and no action.… Read More ➡
Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of an out-of-control Minneapolis police officer, and demonstrations mixed with riots across the country, many American corporations weighed in with official statements or financial support for causes – or both.
Unfortunately the involvement of some put them more on the side of divisiveness than unity, at a time when the country needs the latter the most.
Ultimately many of the companies and/or their top-ranking officers got behind (again) the dubious narrative that there is “systemic racism” in law enforcement, and that minorities are disproportionately treated as suspects – or singled out for violent police tactics – more than whites. As Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald and former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy explained earlier this week, citing very convincing statistics, the idea there is structural bias in policing is a myth.
The Wuhan virus has presented the left-leaning Big Tech companies yet another opportunity to burnish their reputations for censorship of conservatives and independent thinkers.
They have seized that opportunity.
To be sure, Google/YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have allowed much speech and activity on their platforms that dissents from official government advisories and loyal liberal orthodoxy to such. But whatever the techs’ standards are, they are applied inconsistently.
The latest, largest, and likely most egregious example is a video interview with two Bakersfield, Calif. physicians, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, by KERO-TV, in which the medical professionals expressed skepticism about the threat of the virus to the public, following their own experiences and analysis of various data about the disease. After earning more than 5 million views in just a few days, and getting the broader attention of the national media, Google-owned … Read More ➡
Expect nothing substantive to change at Google and parent company Alphabet, following Tuesday’s announced departures of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin from their roles as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet.
The moves made big headlines, but the pair is mostly invisible anyway, leaving Google CEO Sundar Pichai – who will now hold that title for Alphabet also – to take the frequent slings and arrows that are now regularly thrown at the companies, as he mostly already has in recent years. But in reality Page and Brin will still call the shots, thanks to their ownership of special classes of “super-voting” stock that gives them majority control.
The announcement of their moves admitted as much.
“We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders,” Page and Brin wrote. … Read More ➡
The resolution, announced a year ago by NLPC president Peter Flaherty, followed the height of the #MeToo movement in which women who had been sexually harassed – or even assaulted – came forward to expose what happened to them in the workplace. The proposal sought accountability and transparency in how Alphabet/Google has handled various claims of such misconduct, and also called for more ideological balance on the heavily left-leaning board of directors. The annual meeting was held in June.
The current investigation by a select committee of Alphabet’s board, along with the hiring of a law firm to aid the probe, was revealed this month in a report… Read More ➡
It turns out also that if you are a Democrat who fails to fully adhere to the orthodox progressive agenda, then you too will find your Internet voice muted.
Such is the case with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who also is a 2020 presidential candidate.
The congresswoman from Hawaii, an Iraq War veteran who still serves as a Major in the Army National Guard, has sued Google for $50 million over the suspension of her campaign account during the first presidential debate, while she became a hot topic for Internet searches. That her account went missing is not disputed; however, Google claims it was not due to bias against Gabbard, but instead was caused by its … Read More ➡
Corporate activism for progressive causes has become so common, that it is now news when social justice warrior CEOs don’t sign joint letters that demand government to address their latest outrage.
That’s the case following the recent mass shootings in the Texas cities of El Paso and Odessa, and in Dayton, Ohio. As part of the usual outcry for more gun control legislation after such incidents, several companies co-signed an open letter addressed to U.S. Senators asking them to address the “public health crisis that demands urgent action.”
The major technology companies of left-leaning Silicon Valley regularly participate in such initiatives, and some smaller ones did join this effort, including the top executives at Airbnb, Lyft, Reddit, Twitter, Uber and Yelp.
“There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence,” the letter stated. “We need our lawmakers to support common-sense gun laws that … Read More ➡
Corporations exist primarily to provide goods and services to willing buyers. Yet a growing number of employees believe that this mission must include the role of social change facilitator. They view profit and global salvation as woven together. To accommodate this call for reinvention, some employers are offering their work forces paid leave for activism. Welcome to the age of the radicalized, “woke” employee.
A corporation, whether unionized or not, has a natural interest in addressing employee grievances. Open communication is necessary for workplace morale. But at some companies, top officials have become advocates on such controversial public issues as gun control, immigration and global warming. This trend is almost entirely driven by employees, particularly younger ones. And the politics lean sharply leftward. Amplified by social media, activist workers are trying to persuade employers to be accountable to the general population, also known as “stakeholders.” And they’re getting results.