Edit: I strongly recommend watching these directly from C-SPAN rather than the summarized spin-version from random news companies. You might be surprised how little of their time is wasted on grandstanding. Yeah, some politicians will throw in their jabs, but that's not the purpose of those committees and it's a fractionally tiny amount of the dialog. But that's what the news focuses on because it's the most sensational.
"I know Kent Walker. He’s a good guy. I respect him, but we had the lawyers back in November. This is a hearing that’s going to talk about solutions. I think it speaks volumes that Google doesn’t want to be part of that discussion. I don't think it’s good for them or for coming up with a good solution."
That tells me that either Warner doesn't know what Walker does on a daily basis (he could ask) or he just wants an excuse to skewer Page over China, as in the next paragraph. It's particularly glaring, because he goes out of his way to mention that the hearing was about solutions. Any solution at Google/Alphabet would involve Walker a lot more than Page, who's just not immersed in policy. "We had the lawyers back in November" is such a cheap shot. (Perhaps even cheaper if you know that Warner is a lawyer who never practiced...)
And this is from a Democrat who has more latitude to do his real job on the committee. Out of political calculation, Burr and co. need to avoid getting on the nerves of the guy in the White House by even implying that perhaps his victory was aided by another government. All of this to say that I don't expect much to be done. There's the DETER act, but it's not clear if it will pass, in what shape and with what kind of vigor it will be enforced.
Granting, for the sake of argument, that SSCI public hearings are on average more substantive and less grandstanding around pre-set narratives than other public Congressional hearings , there was ample advance reason to believe that this hearing was not going to further that pattern.
> Yeah, some politicians will throw in their jabs, but that's not the purpose of those committees and it's a fractionally tiny amount of the dialog.
It may be a tiny amount of the dialog, but even then it's often the tiny amount that actually is decisive in motivating the hearings, in much the only way that advertising may be a minority of the airtime on commercial TV networks, but it's 100% of the purpose.
 I don't think it's true on balance, but I do think it seems true based on the selection of public hearings that get major media attention, because substantive, non-showboating hearings of other committees rarely get attention.
That's a completely absurd analogy.
"Throwing jabs" is most certainly not 100% of the purpose. The purpose of making committee hearings public was part of The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 as well as an earlier reform effort in the 1940s..
These acts mandated that standing committees be open to the public. This was done for transparency, accountability and to keep overly powerful chairmen in check. That is 100% of the purpose. Facts matter.
You are also free to attend open hearings in person, its first come first served. If you don't happen to live in Washington, D.C. however public access is by televising these.
I posted a link above last weeks hearing in its' entirety. Please point out the "jabs" and "grandstanding."
Part of it is also to function as a communication channel to the people. It shows their constituents that they're asking the questions people want them to ask and it would give Google's leaders a chance to explain their company-wide position on issues in this case. But they have to care enough to show up.
That's true of most committees; the difference that makes SSCI seem better is that non-grandstanding hearings (or moments of hearings) from, say, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry have roughly a 0% chance of ever getting coverage from the major media, whereas, due to subject matter, SSCI hearings can be newsworthy without grandstanding (though the grandstanding still gets far disproportionate coverage.)
> Part of it is also to function as a communication channel to the people. It shows their constituents that they're asking the questions people want them to ask and it would give Google's leaders a chance to explain their company-wide position on issues in this case.
If Google needed the opportunity of an SSCI hearing to get any message it (or a client) wanted to virtually any audience of concern, the uncontroversial portion of the premise for inviting them to the hearing would collapse. Page showing up improves the ability of the Senators that have prejudged Google to get media coverage of their grandstanding, but it does nothing for Google's ability to have it's message reach any audience it cares to have it reach.
There's no value to Google in voluntarily cooperating in a hearing concerning matters on which so many members of the committee had publicly, explicitly, and in quite immoderate terms prejudged Google and where the terms sent clearly were incompatible with an intent of productive information gathering rather than political scapegoating.
It's, of course, the prerogative of Congress members to use hearings for grandstanding with high value PR target witnesses as props as a means of gesturing to their constituents about their concern on an issue. It's also a very good idea for those high value PR targets to decline to voluntarily cooperate when it is clear that are being invited as punching bags. (It's both good for the punching bags and good for the integrity of the process of government.)
The rest of it is still important. They're asking questions and forming their perception of the situation which they use to shape policy.
* Granted, phone calls don't have the weight of purgery to keep people honest. But, that only goes so far.
When it comes to information warfare and propaganda, you'll see them come to the same type of conclusion on multiple panels, which is that public awareness is a key component in any effective counter measure. Giving the leaders of these industries a mic to educate the public seems in all of our best interest. Not all of these committees are some kind of "circus". It's just a normal part of how these things work.
 Recent example: https://www.c-span.org/video/?449088-1/senate-intelligence-c...
PS: If our politicians did all of these behind closed doors and on private phones you'd be on here complaining about that too. I prefer that some of this happens in the public eye.
A closed door hearing is for fact finding, public ones are for proselytizing.
Just because a tiny amount of grandstanding happens doesn't make it all mock/show.
Full disclosure, you're a Googler.
The majority of questions at every hearing I've seen have been politically biased grandstanding, with the goal of creating a soundbite that appeals to the base, not of factually informing the public.
You don't want the guy who thinks that google, probably uses version control software, but doesn't know what it is.
The ic didn't want a decision maker, they wanted a heel.
And again, if you want a discussion, you need people who are contextual experts. A CEO can't speak intelligently about security and privacy at Google or Facebook. Nor can Congress. You can discuss things in broad strokes and talk about high level initiatives, but actually real, useful discussion is unlikely.
There was a popular post yesterday showing pichais response to a question about fake news at a Google internal meeting. It was a widely derided answer and being uninformed, despite it being to a roomful of engineers who work at Google.
That leads to one conclusion, through any number of avenues (pichai doesn't understand the issues, realpolitik, people don't understand the issues, googlers don't understand the issues, etc.), That a congressional hearing asking Google about fake news would be unproductive theatre.
C-SPAN covers this stuff verbatim, with zero spin. This stuff is very important to Democracy, and sitting it out is horrible optics.
The news just doesn't like reporting on the boring stuff.
Then why the empty chair theatrics; why reject, in a hearing notionally about policy, the Google executive most appropriate for policy issues; why the pretense of national importance of having particular witnesses with dramatic complaints about their absence when the committee only used voluntary invitations and not subpoenas compelling testimony?
It may not be all theatrics, but it's definitely more about theatrics than governing.
Maybe I’m jaded, but your response reminds me of those from Theranos employees on this very forum when it was criticised.
We have a law enforcement and judicial system for that. Most Senators don't know anything about business or technology.
You seem pretty consistently dismissive of the democratic process in this thread. I don't think I should have to remind you of how critically important it is.
Technically yes. But politicians (the actual rep's themselves) do not really write the laws - they just agree on the spirit of the law of which they're pursuing and then basically sell it to other members.
It's the equivalent of engaging a Partner at a big 4 consultancy. They show up for the sales call, but are nowhere to be found when the solution they sold actually gets implemented.
Sound bytes are an important part of the democratic process. Politions need to differentiate themselves from the pack by standing on one side or the other of any given issue otherwise the general public would be voting randomly.
And given the footage I've seen of late from such hearings, I too have no confidence in their abilities.
My point in my original post is that these inquiries should have WAY harsher consequences than they have. Larry Page should be facing the real possibility of jail time right now for not having shown up. Policy changes should be coming from these inquiries.
But, sadly, none of that is going to happen and we all know it. Because you don't put a guy who helps fund your campaign in jail.
As another commenter posted, we have a judicial system for that. We have separation of powers in our government for a reason. Congress should not be acting as judge and jury.
If Congress really thought it was necessary for him to attend they would have used their subpoena power either initially or after he declined the invitation. Refusing a congressional subpoena is a crime.
The fact that they haven't should tell you how important they really think it is. Most of them are probably happier that he didn't because it gives them more chances for sound bites.
After all the hearing were just for show. The real questions they wanted answered were submitted to the companies in writing and all of the companies including Google/Alphabet provided written responses.
Senate Intelligence Committee hearings tend to much more informed and productive comparatively speaking. It's apparent from even a cursory viewing of the hearing.
Larry Page would have been made well-aware of this distinction before making the decision not to attend.
Google have always been selling advertising first and foremost. Their pitch is "we will put you in front of the right people".
Facebook, an other social network providers, seem to have modernised this badly. The social graph and access to it was the key offering, so their pitch was "we will give you access to the right people".
How did it go on like that for so long? There were four sets of entities involved who for their own reasons did nothing:
1. Those buying the access knew the difference and eagerly lapped up as much as they could.
2. The general public was blissfully unaware until the recent furore so there was no push to change anything from that side. To quite an extent, IMO, many were not just unaware but deliberately ignorant - many of us, techies like myself and active members of privacy groups, were aware and talking loudly about the issues but the majority didn't care because they didn't see how it might significantly affect them personally.
3. Commercial entities, even direct competitors, said nothing because they thought it better to try take a piece of the pie for themselves instead of sprinkling laxatives over someone else's and risk the pie shop being closed down. They are of course right now either being investigated too, or hurriedly making sure they were not (or that it can not be proven that they were) directly and knowingly culpable of the same things.
4. While there was no public or commercial push against what facebook and others were doing, the politicians had no interest. No point siring up potential commercial sponsors for their future funding drives unnecessarily...
Maybe they didn't, but it's not like we know exactly what Google is doing with data.
If this were chess, Page sacrificed a pawn for critical board control/position. It hurt, but Google is playing the long game.
Part of that "horrendous management" involved sending surrogates to apologize instead of leaders. Google is repeating Facebook’s mistakes.
Yes, but only because Google allegedly aided the media's preferred candidate, while Facebook allegedly aided the candidate that was successful and that the media hated. Google not showing up means the media can sort of just sweep their behavior under the rug, which is good for Google's PR in the minds of Americans who supported the media's favorite candidate....but it's terrible PR for the other half of the country who voted for the other one and sees the bias. You're just not hearing about it much because most of the media leans the same direction Google as a company does.
Can you imagine if Mark Zuckerberg hadn't shown up? How big of a story that would have been in almost every single media outlet?
Google's only sliding under the radar because the media is helping them slide under the radar. I assure you if Google's policies had aided the winning candidate's campaign - intentionally or not - that would not be the case.
Damn, that's sloppy reporting. The EU didn't fine Google because of its dominance, rather it was accused of using that dominance in an abusive manner to advance the search/ad business .
People just seem propagandistically pro-Google on here. You’re mostly pretty darn smart people. I don’t get it.
Also, making commitments in the middle of a high-stress congressional hearing without taking time to think about it would be a terrible idea, which is why people don't do it.
Those angry old people were chosen by their constituents to represent them in public affairs. Supposedly their roles and their actions are the basis of a democratic regime.
"Kent Walker currently serves as Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Google"
"He served as an Assistant U.S. attorney with the United States Department of Justice and advised the US Attorney General on technology policy issues"
I'm not suggesting the employees or Google are doing anything wrong but it's going to result in a visible bias that one should keep in mind.
If you get paid the big bucks, you'd better be ready to face the music.
The Senate didn't demand anything.
Some members of the Senate are just engaging in theatrical complaints about someone declining a voluntary invitation.
If they wanted to demand compliance, they have the power to do that. That they chose not to indicates their real view of the substantive importance more clearly than their fake drama does.
I disagree totally with that point. The "superstar CEO" Zuckerberg is now ridiculed, hated, and negatively "meme-ed". He is now the face of censorship (for some) and a laissezfaire strategy threatening democracies (for others).
Even the previous paragraph stated: "Bill Gates had become a media caricature during Microsoft Corp.’s three-year antitrust lawsuit".
Page staying in the dark only generated this one article, not a real national scandal. 99% of people don't know him and won't know him after that no-show. Google's reputation is untouched.
Only loss is for the Senators not getting the spotlight.
I think you see this reality generating a lot of the pressure against the "lie low" strategy during scandals.
say nothing and the media and public move on to the next story.
That's why it's so adversarial.
In the US, it's mostly not about that, either; it's about creating enthusiasm in those already aligned with you or dampening it in those aligned with your opponent.
(Pretending to try to sway the opposition but using arguments which primarily resonate with your base so it just makes your base more angry with the opposition for their obstinacy is a common tactic, here.)
Eh, it’s going to generate nasty side effects. Google spends a lot on lobbying. This kneecaps those efforts. That’s bad news for a host of broader issues, including net neutrality.
You really don't want to turn the government against you.
The Senators that wanted Larry or Sundar to voluntarily submit to and draw more media attention to their spectacle of abuse directed at the firm (and others in the industry) obviously didn't trust Google in the first place, and the rest know the game and aren't going to be effected by this except perhaps by realizing that Google's leadership isn't completely braindead politically.
There was no possible net upside for Google participating in the charade of a hearing, and the committee rejecting Google's offer of the most qualified person to address the substantive questions notionally at issue in response to the voluntary invitation for participation was an unmistakable signal that that was the case.
> You really don't want to turn the government against you.
You also don't want to voluntarily cooperate with the parts of the government that have already turned against you and are trying to scapegoat you to build support for policies hostile to your interests.
Law enforcement isn't the only part of government that can seemingly innocently invite you to talk with malign intent, and it's not the only part of government you should decline voluntary cooperation with when you don't have good reason to believe that the intent of the invitation is aligned with your interests.
News especially these days is mostly sensationalist gossip made by people who's primary incentives is to get you to click their link or share it because you are outraged so they get more clicks.
I don't mind debating politics or other more problematic subjects but I don't get riled up by some article trying to paint the world in black and white, seen the other side of how the media is reporting something too many times.
If you want to have another example besides this weird can completely forced article look no further to the Elon Musk interview on Joe Rogan last which made their shares drop 8% for the day because he took one puff. Everyone went berserk because you are not supposed to do something like that if you are the CEO of a large company. Instead of actually listening to the interview which was almost 3 hours and super interesting, that puff became what the media took away from it. The media is no longer in the service of the people it's in the service of the clicks that's about it because it's much more fun to be outraged and gossip than to actually try and understand.
Each to their own of course but that's why I stopped following the news cycles. Now go and watch that great interview with Elon and while you are at it go watch Peter Thiel on Dave Rubin an equally great show that takes the time to unfold subjects even if that means three hour formats.
It's kind of interesting how this feels like such a relatively new problem, yet that quote is from Thomas Jefferson, 1807.
It doesn’t matter though. Let them continue to waste their brain power on meaningless nonsense like “optics” or how something looks.
The rest of us will continue to learn and innovate. I learned a lot, especially about how an electric plane with VTOL works. Honestly, it was one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever watched in my life.
Disgraceful grandstanding by Warner.
This could have something to do with why he's reluctant to do a lot of public speaking nowadays.
[UPDATE] I was wrong: the article does mention this, I just missed it. I would delete this comment but I can't since it has been replied to.
>In the 1990s he was diagnosed with vocal cord paralysis, a nerve condition that eventually has made it difficult for him to speak above a hoarse whisper. “Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully,” Page wrote in a Google+ post in 2013, the same year he stopped joining earnings calls.
Why would he waste his breath, if it's actually limited? The mistake here wasn't in Page not showing up--it was in _nobody_ showing up.
I'm reminded of Margaery Tyrell's line from the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. "Cersei understands the consequences of her absence, and she is absent anyway, which means that she does not intend to suffer those consequences."
Lest we start panicking, I don't think that this necessarily means we're all going to die in a fireball of wildfyre (though that could happen anyway). But it's likely Google actually welcomes regulation, because it will entrench their position and serve as a barrier to any new competitors emerging. They know that neither the average Congressperson nor their constituents understand economics, and so will likely pass legislation that harms Google's unborn competitors far more than it harms Google.
Kent Walker was the policy guy. Ironically, this article from six weeks ago makes the point that he's the new Eric Schmidt when it comes to governments:
(Disclosure: I work at Google)
I'm not trying to dunk on Congress too hard, but so much of their public hearings are about the spectacle of gov officials holding "someone" accountable.
And it's bipartisan too, the spectacle.
The Dems were looking to further the Russia election manipulation spectacle, and I'd guess Repubs were hoping to advance their narratives of "shadowbanning" and ideological search results bias.
This is how the sausage is made.
I don't mean just the dictionary definition of spectacle, rather I'm referencing the Situationist + Critical Theory concept of The Spectacle. Guy Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle" is a wild piece of thought.
It's an absolute tome, but essentially society is now mediated by social relations of spectacle which are symbols / signs / abstractions of actual material relations. And like you're saying, politicians play a huge role in wielding spectacle towards their material goals. Some of this might seem strangely familiar / redundant but that just speaks to the impact Situationist thinking has had on our conception of society and culture.
Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle (Paris, 1967).
The very ones that the citizens _voted_ for.
What's the point? Is anyone actually responsible/accountable? Did anything change at Wells Fargo? Equifax?
Wells Fargo blackballed employees who make $35k a year. The CEO testified in Congress and took his golden parachute.
I am trying to understand what responsibility and accountability mean.
Previously on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12696494
Wells Fargo is under direct supervision of the Federal Reserve, and is locked into a growth ban, because of what it did. They've also paid billions of dollars in fines so far, with more coming.
> The [Wells Fargo] CEO testified in Congress and took his golden parachute.
You're making that up. There was no golden parachute, their CEO forfeited nearly all of his compensation for 2016 and was forced out of the company without severence or golden parachute.
"Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf to forfeit $41 million in unvested equity amid independent probe"
"The bank also said on Tuesday that Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the community banking division, had left the company and would not receive a severance payment. She forfeited about $19 million in outstanding unvested equity awards"
Why is this a problem? The CEO is the public face of the company. If Congress wants to question the company about serious issues, it shouldn't settle for a little-known subordinate who has much less authority or accountability for the decisions Congress wants to ask about.
It's not a problem other than the fact that it is a clear signal that the purpose of the invitation is public spectacle, not soliciting testimony whose content had a substantive legislative purpose.
Another clear signal of that is the use of invitations rather than subpoenas, followed by dramatic complaints about the invitation being declined when the person best able to address the substance (though less attractive as a PR punching bag) was offered.
Another clear signal of that is the empty chair theatrics.
And if people learned to recognize these signals of unseriousness, then unserious approaches will become less effective, and if Congress wants to be seen to be addressing an issue, they’ll need to actually seriously address it.
I for once appload congressmen/women for not falling for this sinple trick again.
Of that's all they wanted, they'd issue a subpoena for the top executive. That removes choice.
What they want is, in order of preference:
(1) Both ritual validation of the legitimacy of their efforts via the voluntary participation of top executives combined with the increased media attention for their showboating that comes with having the top executive in the hot seat, or, failing that
(2) The opportunity to showboat about the firms decision not to send the top executive.
If they were interested in substance, they would accept the firm sending the most appropriate person to address the actual issue, and if they felt the offered person wasn't the right person, they'd issue subpoenas to compel the testimony of the people who are really needed. But substantive answers aren't what the hearing is about.
They also want to to get either the ritual validation of voluntary submission or the opportunity for theatrical (but fundamentally dishonest) complaint about non-compliance; if it was really important to have the specific witnesses there, they would forgo both and issue compulsory legislative subpoenas, which is fully within their power.
By not doing so, they are, in fact, saying they don't consider the testimony of the invited witness all that important to the legislative function, so the theatrics around the decision not to accept the voluntary invitation are clearly unwarranted.
Maybe Larry Page is a recluse, an eccentric, a technical thinker, a background figure, or however you want to describe him. I can understand why someone who started out writing a search engine in their garage might not be the type who feels comfortable doing public speaking in front of the Senate.
But we should disconnect the man from the company. Google certainly does need to be held to account, and does need to answer these questions, both to the public and to governments. At best, it's an organizational failure of Google to not allocate someone from upper management on this - it should really be Pichai, who is really the day-to-day boss at Google. At worst it's a deliberate act of the company to avoid questioning.
The attention shouldn't be directed at one man not showing up to answer questions, but the huge company who doesn't feel that it's necessary to send any of it's senior management to answer these questions.
Edit: Seems that Google did offer to send a senior legal executive, and the senate refused them. Point still stands that we need to separate the company from the man, but perhaps the senate is just as focused on the "big names" as the media.
This just goes to show how much of a charade these hearings are.
Literally no one in the public is going to pay attention or give a shit about hearings where Congress questions lower level executives with little to no decision-making authority.
It's not a charade to want to question the one guy in the company who unquestionably has authority over whatever decisions Congress wants to ask about. If you think they should settle for talking to a new exec with no authority, why not expect them to settle for talking to an intern reading prepared statements?
This is pure grandstanding for the purpose of public spectacle. Good on Page for telling them where to stuff it. If congress wants to take these issues seriously they should drop the politics and show and start being serious.
I disagree. Calling the CEO to testify puts the chief decision-maker on notice that these are issues he needs to focus on. Settling for a minor executive won't have the same influence on the CEO. Secondly, a minor executive has much more ability to dodge and evade, since he can legitimately claim "this isn't my area," "wasn't my decision," etc. Also, like I said before, settling for interviewing minor players doesn't attract the public's attention to the issue.
> If congress wants to take these issues seriously they should drop the politics
Congress is politics. It's not some technocratic regulatory body. Engaging in politics is literally the primary job of congressmen.
Kent Walker doesn't make decisions about how Google conducts business, Kent's job is to whitewash it for public consumption. I believe his current title is "Vice President of Global Affairs", which is more or less a PR title, and of course, as others have noted, he's their head lawyer.
Anyone can look up Kent's numerous writings on Google's Public Policy blog, the Senate wanted to speak to the people who actually make those decisions, not just be informed what the decisions are.
Google offered Walker, who was just promoted to the position back in July, and has no operational control over the company.
Source: I used to work at Google. I would have asked Kent a policy question well before Larry or Sergey.
That's why we shouldn't celebrate things like trillion dollar companies or the richest man in the world but we should celebrate small companies. That's where ethics
and also innovation can happen .
While the senators' whining was to be expected, because it largely called their bluff, I was more disappointed by the media's acceptance of the lines that Walker was not the right person to be there and that he was "a lawyer" (should we send home all politicians with a law degree?). These are policy issues, so you talk to the experts and leaders who make the policy calls.
IBM, Bell Labs etc. did far more innovation than any Mom and Pop shop.
That would imply either that big companies all started as small companies which became successful and grew large, which is false (some big companies start big). Or that big companies operate the same way as small companies, just at a larger scale, which is unequivocally false.
That said, celebrating billionaires (many of whom trampled on others to get there) leaves a bad taste.
I wish we had more cooperatives...
I would argue there is something to be celebrated about the "richest man in the world". Large private investors are more accountable than the public, and can act on ideologies or intentions other than greed (for better or worse).
-- disclaimer: never worked there
I can see why Google sent a lawyer instead of Page.
They have "don't be evil" in a last sentence: "And remember… don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right – speak up!". It's directed towards the Google employers as individuals, not for the corporation.
And you're telling me this ran into problems!?
It's known that Page has problems with his vocal chords. So I wouldn't be astonished that he doesn't show up for a hearing if he's not forced to so.
My personal impression of Page and Brin's near silence of late is that they have semi-retired by effectively promoting themselves out of Google during the creation of Alphabet. Still on top, still in charge, but having delegated pretty much everything down to a lower level.
My comment, which is nothing but a rant was against the senate hearing, and the way it is conducted. It is nothing but a circus to make believe the public that senators are acting for the benefit of the public. Far from it, they just serve to certain interests. What I do not like is that they are just putting a show, and what they do is showmanship. Oh they make all those CEOs behave like a little school boy, right?!. Sweating in front of the principal, nice! How about themselves? For Iraq to be invaded these people needed to approve it. Now we know that all the evidence was bogus. Have we seen any such hearing on them? Any remorse, and resignation? They are flashing light to blind you. This is not democracy. That’s all I have to say.
Dorsey is also running Square, and has to go to DC to answer questions about shadowbanning Twitter users?
That is the most pressing issue of our democracy?
Don't worry about college or healthcare costs when Twitter users are being 'unfairly' shadowbanned?
I care about my privacy more than free Facebook and Gmail, and continue to evangelize GDPR style legislation with US legislators.
So, what's your opinion of democracy? It doesn't seem like you care for it that much.
On the other hand Dorsey isn't low profile and I don't think most (non-tech) people would recognize him. Ev Williams? Even less so.
Prehaps, sometimes, it's also the media who makes or breaks public perceptions?
Tim Cook is more well known but will never reach Steve.
He would have been grilled for hours over it.
edit: To all the silent salties out there: am I wrong?
Nothing in this video is surprising though. It has always been clear that the value system of people in Silicon Valley is completely different from Republican values. Their despise for Trump or his base is the most obvious connection anyone can make.
That's not careful phrasing when talking about a man with paralysed vocal chords.
That's gold, given the fact that his company has set out to completely destroy the concept of privacy for the rest of the population.
I know a lot of college buddies who were some of the smartest people I knew. When they hit their 30's, they just had enough of the go go go lifestyle and they suddenly wanted to be alone and just enjoy life either by themselves or with a very small group of special friends.
I can see Larry being like this. He just wants to be by himself and out of the spotlight.
So basically they had offered someone of authority here, but the politicians wanted to have their show trial with the celebrities instead.
If you watch these Intelligence Committee hearings I think you'll find them to be focused on strategy, partnerships, and actions rather than some form of "trial".
Either way, if they actually wanted the CEO of Google, that happens to be Sundar Pichai, not Larry Page (he's the CEO of the holding company).
And Google basically responded with "it's either our legal team or nothing".
But only technically. Google is Alphabet and Alphabet is Google, just like Blackwater is still Blackwater no matter what obfuscating name they're using this week.
Theres not much that can be said about communication online. Its going to be terrible, even without VC money thrown at it.
This isn't hyperbole, its just history - even with the first ever online game, back in the text days, the first griefer existed. In old forums, we had eternal september.
Communication online is just hacking the human brain more efficiently.
> Image text: 404 Page not found
Bloomberg I’m disappointed.
> He was also averse to the internal politics common to running a 60,000-employee conglomerate. A former senior director at Google remembers a heated debate among the “L Team,” as Googlers used to call Page’s circle of executive consiglieri, that escalated to a point where it required his mediation. “Can’t you sort this out on your own?” he told his deputies.
> The company’s abrupt reorganization in 2015 elevated Pichai to CEO of Google and Page to chief of its umbrella company, Alphabet. It was perhaps the cleverest retirement plan ever devised.
The stock dropped because the CAO departed less than a month after starting at Telsa. Not because of the puff of marijuana.
The fast crashes seem more related to stupid media freak outs - similar to FB and the Cambridge Analytica thing.
Tesla's finances are a perenial source of concern and if Tesla's chief accounting officer leaves the company in the middle of another row regarding Tesla's financial health, I really doubt a puff is capable of raising more concerns.
Ultimately though the true cause of these moves can't really be known so reasonable people can draw different conclusions.
Concerns about Tesla's solvency have been building for months. The departure of several high-level executives is a big concern and what moved markets. It might signal that people are jumping ship.
Facebook had since restricted access to the API to prevent this terms of service violation a few years ago, but it was after Cambridge Analytica had already engaged in their bad behavior.
The news was largely that a bad actor did a bad thing and FB had already locked down the API to prevent this a couple years ago, though in the news the details around this were mostly incoherent. The market reaction was a massive crash.
It's probably worth Facebook focusing on bad actors more explicitly (which they're doing now with their focus on integrity teams), but the reaction to the CA news was disproportionate - even on HN. The market moves during sensational media stories seem to be an easy place to make money, I think this is where it's similar to the pot smoking CEO overreaction.
If it was the case that CA actually was able to do the things the media claimed they didn and affect people like that, FB would be in an even better position to affect people which means FB shares should have risen not fallen.
We do not live in the world created by the media about the capabilities of CA not even close.
But as they say. The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. That irrationality is further fueld by the medias attempt to dumb down things IMO.
The issue became mainstream and gave rise to the "Delete Facebook" movement which regular folks as well as celebrities piled onto. It's fair to discuss the faddish nature of the #delete movements, but I don't see any positive angle in it for FB.
It also forced FB to overhaul their platform, most notably applying larger restrictions to the amount of data available via APIs. This wasn't grandstanding, it cut revenue streams for many advertising and data companies. I'm not sure this had a direct effect on FB's revenue, but indirectly it makes FB less attractive as a platform for hyper-targeted advertising. This can eventually lead to a lower ROI on FB ads vs. other channels and thus, lower share of a marketing budget.
This wasn't anything new for most people who knew just a little bit about how FB worked for 3rd parties.
What changed was Trump. Had this been Hillary we wouldn't been talking about it at all and I am pretty sure FB wouldn't have been called to the hearing.
So I would say it's mostly a media driven thing but of course don't have any final proof. Just pretty sure it wasn't the privacy part that was the problem but rather Trump.
I responded to someone drawing similarities between Cambridge Analytica and Elon Musk's joint toke, claiming both were examples of "stupid media freakouts" which caused a drop in the stock price of their respective companies.
I think those 2 media events are very different from each other and have very different consequences for their respective companies. I might be proven wrong though if Musk is brought to task in front of a senate committee for his pot-smoking ways.
I agree with you that Trump's election may have made it more likely that Cambridge Analytica became a big deal in the public eye. There's more controversy to fuel media frenzy if the person who got elected is seen to have unjustly ascended the throne.
Not that there is anything new about that observation, that's how it's always been but the puff was literally everywhere and in combination with the leaving I am fairly certain it had an impact since it's now back up again.
I'm not sure why this is receiving so many downvotes. Is it that unlikely? I'm not saying I want him to be sick, it's just speculation.
On the other hand, it does appear as if Google (and many of the other mega-corps) are pretty much acting as if they are sovereign in their own right. In this case, it appears Page honestly just ditched it, but if he gets away with it - he sets a precedent.