Facebook's team of mad data scientists caught flak this summer for experimenting on their users' emotions. But the company has a proud history of turning people into unwitting research subjects. For at least six years, the social network has been mining the political preferences of its users without their consent. The company will pull personal political data for the 2016 election as well, but this time Facebook will share its findings.
Silicon Valley's leaders usually do a good job finding things to agree on (regulations: bad; disruption: good; workplace diversity: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). But when it comes to campaign finance reform, the tech industry can't make up its damn mind. While Bay Area billionaires are financing super PACs focused on getting money out of politics, they're simultaneously spending millions on their favorite candidates and parties.
For much of Ed Lee's first term as Mayor of San Francisco, he enjoyed both the popular support of the public and the financial backing of tech tycoons. Last March, a stunning 65 percent of local voters approved of Lee's handling of the job. Then the Google Bus protests happened, the cost of living kept rising, and evictions hit crisis levels. Within 13 months, Lee's approval rating sunk by 20 points.
In recent months, companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo have dialed back their most egregious political donations, pulling support from climate change-denying groups like ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce. But tech firms continue funneling money into right-wing campaigns, and the Silicon Valley liberals who financed them are pissed.
San Francisco's politicians have been working hard to make nice with Airbnb. They even let Airbnb's lobbyists make the city's "home sharing" regulations more liberal, allowing homeowners to host with Airbnb without obtaining an expensive bed and breakfast permit. But now that the proposed rules have been amended by the city's Planning Department, the company is staging protests against them.
Silicon Valley's anti-government fervor hasn't spread to the main-est of the mainstream so far: no calls for secession from Zuck or Dorsey. But that doesn't mean big tech money isn't reaching radical elements. The Washington Post reports that Google's given money to the people grinding federal politics to a halt.
The Facebook Alumni Association's top (or at least certainly most attractive) power couple now has a YouTube video to lean on, showing, in vibrant detail, how the couple will buy its way into the political favor of the Hudson Valley. Watch as local business owners thank Eldridge for giving them money—this is very Transparency 4.0.