DealBook Briefing: Big Tech May Need to Swallow Its Political Pride

September 5, 2018

Tech's tensions with government may be a big problem

 

 

Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow about their preparations for the midterm elections. In the afternoon, Twitter’s C.E.O., Jack Dorsey, will also testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on policing what users tweet.

 

 

Tensions between Silicon Valley and the government aren’t limited to misinformation — they stretch from data privacy issues, in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, to the A.I. work by Google, Microsoft and Amazon for various agencies. Some companies have pulled out of high-profile projects because of concerns from employees.

 

Yet Andrew argues that Silicon Valley might come to regret such puritan stances. He spoke to Alex Karp, co-founder of Palantir, who said he didn’t vote for President Trump but still feels a moral obligation to work with the government. And here’s what Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School and a member of the Defense Innovation Board, told him:

 

“I worry that it will stall progress,” he said. “Innovation has been fueled for decades by private-public partnerships. It smacks of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Even if you’re not a fan of the president, you can still serve your country.”

 

Silicon Valley employees set off a quiet — but growing — debate across corporate America in the age of Trump: What does it mean to be a patriotic company when you vehemently disagree with your nation’s leader?

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