Silicon Valley is becoming very political, very quickly. At a meeting, Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt described Trump’s administration to employees as “evil,” according to BuzzFeed News.
Schmidt, for one, believes Trump and co. are pushing for greater economic growth—at any cost.
Google—whose cofounder Sergey Brin is a self-described refugee—set up a $4 million crisis fund for organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, according to The Verge.
But behind the scenes, something different is taking place. Google has been aggressively courting Republican lawmakers, according to The New York Times, going so far as to host a $50,000 evening of drinks and seeking conservative employees in Washington.
Beyond the drama, there’s one legitimately worrying thing Schmidt said during the meeting: “I did everything I could to cause a different outcome,” he is quoted as saying in Vice, reportedly referring to his company’s influence in determining the president. “There are limits to what we can do.”
We saw many major news publications side with Hillary Clinton during the election campaign, which made us remember to think objectively as the lines between opinion and journalism blurred dangerously. Well, it is perhaps even more scary when tech leaders like Schmidt claim to be willing to use their “influence” to sway political events. Like Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg also vocally opposed Trump), Google is a company rich with the data of the people, and much of its “influence” comes at the expense of its users—their privacy, their security, their control.