|The Silicon Valley Backlash is Heating Up|
By Eric Newcomer
September 15, 2017, 6:00 AM CDT
Hi all, it’s Eric. Big tech is falling out of political favor. This week, BuzzFeed's Ben Smith convincingly argued that the tides are turning against Google, Facebook and Amazon. The article, “There's Blood in the Water in Silicon Valley,” is worth a read. As Ben points out, Steve Bannon is leading the charge from the right, calling for Google and Facebook to be regulated like public utilities. Bernie Sanders is helping to push the anti-tech charge from the left. Populists on both wings want to kneecap big tech.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for the technology giants, there isn't a coherent, unified critique of their behavior. The grievances come in many forms and from many camps. They include:
The situation keeps getting worse.
- Simmering 99 percenters angry over tech's growing power
- Mounting antitrust concerns
- Animus from ad-dependent media companies
- Bias charges from right-wingers without a seat at the table in Silicon Valley
- Complaints, especially from Democrats, about Russian interference in the election, particularly via social media
- An effort to reckon with gender discrimination and harassment at male dominated engineering companies
- Accusations of fake news and clickbait all around.