Hackernoon logoHow Silicon Valley supports refugees, or not… by@asandre

How Silicon Valley supports refugees, or not…

Andreas Sandre Hacker Noon profile picture

Andreas Sandre

Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.

Statements from Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and more. But not all are on the same page.

As the Trump administration’s immigration ban sends shockwaves around the US and the world, Silicon Valley is voicing its discontent.

From AirbnbEng co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky offering free housing to refugees and those not allowed to stay in the US, to Google’s co-founder and president of parent company Alphabet, joining protesters at San Francisco international airport, as Dieter Bohn and Ryan Mac reporter on Twitter.

As reported by Bloomberg, Google’s chief executive officer Sundar Pichai also distributed an internal memo outlining his disapproval of the impact arising from the administration’s decision.

We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that create barriers to bringing great talent to the U.S. We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook also raised his concerns “about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” although he added that he was “glad to hear President Trump say he’s going to ‘work something out’ for Dreamers — immigrants who were brought to this country at a young age by their parents” and that he was “glad the President believes our country should continue to benefit from ‘people of great talent coming into the country’.”

Former Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor, CEO of Salesforce’s Quip, tweeted:

Co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey has criticized the executive order and linked to a statement from the Internet Association, an advocacy group that represents many major tech companies.

Last week, in his Square capacity, Dorsey also posted a story on the company’s website about Syrian refugee Yassin Terou and his new life in Knoxville, Tennessee as an entrepreneur.

Square also posted on Twitter:

Periscope co-founders Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein signs a post onthe company Medium publication:

The recent executive order to halt immigration from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa has forced us to consider a disturbing alternate reality in which the Periscope team is irreparably changed. Periscope is built, maintained, and operated by people from many faiths and countries. Without immigrants and refugees, Periscope would not exist.

Asked by TechCrunch, Microsoft commented: “We share the concerns about the impact of the executive order on our employees from the listed countries, all of whom have been in the United States lawfully, and we’re actively working with them to provide legal advice and assistance.”

The company’s chief executive officer Satya Nadella wrote an open letter on Linkedin highlighting “the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world.”

Linkedin chief executive officer Jeff Weiner posted on Twitter:

Etsy CEO Chat Dickerson, in response to Re/Code’s Kara Swisher, said that he opposes “excluding people from US based on their nationality or religion, period.”

In an emailed statement reported on by TechCruch, Mozilla’s Chris Beard said that he believes that “The immigration ban imposed by Friday’s executive order is overly broad and its implementation is highly disruptive to fostering a culture of innovation and economic growth.”

The executive order ignores the single truth that we have come to know; talented immigrants have had outsized contributions to the growth and prosperity of the United States and countries around the world. Diversity in all of its forms is crucial to growth, innovation and a healthy, inclusive society.

Reed Hasting of Netflix said on Facebook:

Drew Houston of file sharing service Dropbox also went on twitter:

Sam Altman of Y Combinator went to his blog to call on Silicon Valley “to start speaking up about some of the actions taken by President Trump’s administration.”

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, added his comments via Twitter late on Saturday afternoon, although they were not very strongly worded as some pointed out.

Uber was also widely condemned for a not very strongly worded response.

While its co-founder and chief executive officer Travis Kalanick writes a long open letter on Facebook opposing Trump’s stance, the company’s New York office went on Twitter to counter the decision by taxi drivers to strike in support of all the demonstrators and those refugees that were banning from entry into the US. The tweet went viral and many called for Uber users to delete their accounts.

In response, Lyft says it will donate $1,000,000 to the ACLU National “to defend our constitution,” as reported by Kyle Griffin of MSNBC.

Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson (aka jeffiel) posted here on Medium:

Our enemy is not terror, it is losing our soul while fighting terror. America is stronger than this.

Aaron Levie, chief executive of Box, also took on Medium:

On basically any level — moral, economic, or logical — this is the wrong thing to do and is antithetical to America’s principles. Turning our back on people from countries dealing with major humanitarian crises is against our values, and targeting groups largely based on religion is dangerous and disastrous policy. While this order will ultimately be ineffective, the signal it sends to America’s allies and enemies is the wrong one: it’s one of fear, distrust, and exclusion.
Andreas Sandre Hacker Noon profile picture
by Andreas Sandre @asandre. Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.Read my book!


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