Seeing tech elites the way they see themselves – as utopian revolutionaries – helps clarify why they so often stumble into controversy
Last week’s roasting of Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s decision to censor the most iconic photograph of the Vietnam war has once again turned a favored son of Silicon Valley into a public punching bag. It happens pretty often, although typically the damage is more spontaneously self-inflicted. Tech executives seem to have a special talent for doing or saying infuriating things.
Indeed, hardly a week goes by without a powerful person in Silicon Valley upsetting a significant number of people. Whether it’s Marc Andreessen declaring that India was better off under British colonial rule, or Marc Benioff seeing Black Lives Matter as a branding opportunity, or Elon Musk shrugging off the death of a Tesla driver using the car’s autopilot feature, tech industry titans are the stuff that PR nightmares are made of.