Facebook Is Turning Users Into Voter Data Experiments

Kevin Montgomery · 10/31/14 02:40PM

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.

Tech Billionaires Wanna Be the Only Billionaires Playing Politics

Kevin Montgomery · 10/30/14 06:20PM

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.

Can San Francisco's Puppet Mayor Survive Despite His Techie Friends?

Kevin Montgomery · 10/29/14 05:50PM

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.

Kevin Montgomery · 08/08/14 03:30PM

Airbnb just cleared an important hurdle towards becoming legal in San Francisco. The city's Planning Commission approved legislation that allows tenants to rent apartments for 90 days per year. Airbnb wanted more, but called the vote "an important step forward."

Airbnb is Astroturfing Against Legislation They Helped Write

Kevin Montgomery · 08/04/14 06:30PM

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.

Sam Biddle · 12/17/13 01:43PM

President Barack Obama just wrapped up a meeting with some of Silicon Valley's brassiest brass. Marissa and Sheryl got very good seats. [Photo: Getty]

Sean Eldridge Debuts Political Ad Campaign with Thankful Townies

Sam Biddle · 09/23/13 11:57AM

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.