It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, watching helplessly as reactionaries give a perjuring rage-baby a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Christine Blasey Ford’s courage was humbling and inspiring, and for a brief time it seemed there was a chance that Senators Flake and Collins might do more than wring their hands before falling into line and voting to show women exactly why so many have stayed silent for so long. In the end, though, they lacked Prof. Ford’s integrity, or (so far as I can tell) any integrity at all.
Coincidentally (or not) this thread popped up on the Sleeping Giants Twitter account today:
Sequence of events that led to this:
- Person criticizes @Shopify for helping Breitbart monetize despite the bigotry on the site.
- @tobi (CEO) rebuts saying that is false, that they follow their Acceptable Use Policy.
- We post the following, showing both his Acceptable Use Policy and the articles and unmoderated comments that clearly break his policies, to which he does not respond.
- We post several more examples of how Breitbart’s comments clearly break the @Shopify AUP, to which he also does not respond.
- After more requests for an answer, he finally responds with a tweet about censorship, which of course has zero to do with his AUP, his first excuse.
- We ask why censorship has anything to do with allowing Breitbart to monetize using his platform.
- @tobi deletes all of his tweets and makes a joke about debating on Twitter.
It’s pretty clear at this point that the Jack Dorseys and Marker Zuckerbergs and Tobi Lütkes of this world are Silicon Valley’s answer to Senators Flake and Collins: they will wring their hands ad infinitum, but they won’t do the right thing until they have absolutely no other choice. What saddens me is how many other people at Twitter and Facebook and Shopify are making excuses or changing the subject or saying, “Oh, but look at our diversity scholarships!” Maybe they’ve had better luck arguing with the dead that I have, or maybe they think that if they don’t say anything today they’ll be spared tomorrow, or maybe they genuinely don’t care.
It’s been a difficult couple of years, and there’s worse to come. I fear for us all.