Amazon may have been expecting lots of public attention when it announced where it would establish its new headquarters — but like many technology companies recently, it probably didn’t anticipate how negative the response would be. In Amazon’s chosen territories of New York and Virginia, local politicians balked at taxpayer-funded enticements promised to the company. Journalists across the political spectrum panned the deals — and social media filled up with the voices of New Yorkers and Virginians pledging resistance.
Similarly, revelations that Facebook exploited anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to undermine its critics’ legitimacy indicate that instead of changing, Facebook would rather go on the offensive. Even as Amazon and Apple saw their stock-market values briefly top $1 trillion, technology executives were dragged before Congress, struggled to coherently take a stance on hate speech, got caught covering up sexual misconduct, and saw their own employees protesting business deals.