This is the ugly conundrum of the digital age: When you traffic in outrage, you get death.
So when the Sri Lankan government temporarily shut down access to American social media services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube after the bombings there on Easter morning, my first thought was “good.”
Good, because it could save lives. Good, because the companies that run these platforms seem incapable of controlling the powerful global tools they have built. Good, because the toxic digital waste of misinformation that floods these platforms has overwhelmed what was once so very good about them. And indeed, by Sunday morning so many false reports about the carnage were already circulating online that the Sri Lankan government worried more violence would follow.… Seguir leyendo »
The announcement on Thursday that Amazon has canceled its plan to build a headquarters in New York City is no victory. It’s no defeat, either.
What it is, to use a Big Apple term, is meh, yet another indication that the dulcet attractions of tech have lost their charm for many and that the business — which has been this country’s most innovative and promising and often its most inspirational — is just that: a business, like any other, out for itself and itself alone, and most definitely not changing the world for the better.
That was the cry of tech from its start — especially of the internet types like the Amazon head, Jeff Bezos.… Seguir leyendo »
One, they said, was a “good guy.” Another didn’t deserve to have his life ruined because of his indiscretion. Still another might walk his giant cache of tech knowledge over to a competitor, and that would not stand.
These were the inane reasons put forward over the years by top Google executives for a series of hush-hush agreements and payoffs to far too many high-ranking men who had been accused of sexual harassment, according to numerous sources who were in the private meetings where the decisions were debated.
What didn’t happen — not even once — was for these leaders to publicly discipline or fire anyone for allegations that included executives: groping a female colleague at a party without her consent; asking a Google barista to lick her lips for him; slipping a mickey to a female employee and trying — without success, fortunately — to lead her away from an event.… Seguir leyendo »
This week on the right-wing site Breitbart News, a video surfaced of one of Google’s weekly “T.G.I.F.” meetings, where employees and the leadership engage in heated debates over everything from healthier snack stations to the election of Donald Trump.
Breitbart News described the 2016 video as a “smoking gun” because it showed Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder, telling everyone how he felt about the new leader of the free world.
Spoiler: Not good.
“Myself, as an immigrant, as a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive, and I know many of you do, too,” he said in his flat, nasal voice.… Seguir leyendo »