If nothing else, the sordid story of Jeffrey Epstein has done some good by exposing possible corruption in academia, science, and Big Tech. Business Insider wrote that LinkedIn founder and Microsoft board member Reid Hoffman is the latest in a long list of “powerful figures attracting scrutiny for their connections to now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith is one of Big Tech’s biggest advocates for censorship online. Wouldn’t it be great if he brought that can-do attitude to the government? In an interview with Time Magazine, Smith told Romesh Ratnesar that he was not going to “rule out” a career in the government.
Google has tried to appease the social justice movement within its company, to the point that it has been accused of reverse discrimination. But apparently that’s not enough, according to one of its engineers. Bria Sullivan, an app developer for Google, interviewed with Moguldom, a media outlet that “programs content for an economic revolution in Black America,” on the August 21 GHOGH podcast. She and the podcast host, Jamarlin Martin, complained that Silicon Valley had a “Clarence Thomas” problem.
Add Germany to the list of foreign governments struggling with the lax privacy policies found in Big Tech companies. The state government of Hesse, Germany, has forbidden students by law from using Microsoft Office 365 over privacy concerns as of July 9.
Ever wonder what tech giants do to keep their proprietary information in house and away from other tech companies just as savvy as they are? Microsoft is one company that has kept an eye out for this. “Microsoft has a list of online services that it forbids its workforce to use,” according to Mashable, reporting on a story originally from GeekWire. This list includes programs such as slack, Google Docs, Amazon Web Services, and any other outside web sources.
XBox has video game smack-talk in its crosshairs. In an interview with Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, Xbox head Phil Spencer proclaimed that “Xbox Live is not a free speech platform.” He added that “It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything.” Spencer explained that his team is “working to ensure it’s a safe and inclusive environment.”
The tech industry is slowly circling conservative media and preparing to strike. An advertising program manager for Microsoft responded to an op-ed by New York Times contributor Farhad Manjoo, agreeing that Fox News was a “million pound fork-tongued colossus” responsible for misinformation. Dare Obasanjo, listed on LinkedIn as a project program manager for Microsoft, tweeted out that Fox News and figures like Ben Shapiro were “misleading propaganda.”
The White House slammed both Google and Facebook over the First Amendment when it passed on a New Zealand plea for censorship of online content. The Washington Post reported that while other foreign powers sign on to the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online, the White House refused.
Markus Persson, aka “Notch,” the original inventor of the worldwide video game phenomenon Minecraft, has been memory-holed by Microsoft from the game’s history for being politically incorrect. Persson created the original game in 2009, and sold the rights to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion. Since then, Microsoft appears to have done it's best to scrub his memory from the franchise. According to Twinfinite, “Last month there was an update to the game that scrubbed loading screen text that included his name.”
Election manipulation is something the media have typically associated with Russians. But one liberal billionaire funnelled 56 times more money into manipulating content to win elections than the Russians.
Logic and identity politics are clashing as tech workers openly question the dogma of diversity. Quartz reported on an internal conflict at Microsoft as employees accused the tech company of discriminating against Asian and white men. The comments were written by an anonymous female Microsoft program manager and have received a perfect storm of both support and condemnation. She continued by asking “does Microsoft have any plans to end the current policy that financially incentivizes discriminatory hiring practices?” She clarified by then elaborating that what she is criticizing is that “leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men.”
Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, “I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.” An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called “Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure” tweeted, “My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask ‘Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?’” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, “The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else.”