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(77,387 posts)
Mon Jun 24, 2024, 08:22 AM Jun 24

Viral post exposes tech support of Trump [View all]

A viral blog post from a bureaucrat exposes why tech billionaires fear Biden — and fund Trump
Silicon Valley increasingly depends on scammy products, and no one is more friendly to grifters than Trump

Senior Writer
PUBLISHED JUNE 24, 2024 6:00AM (EDT)

(Salon) The drastic rightward lurch of Silicon Valley's executive class has been swift and mysterious — but now the key to unlocking the mystery may lie in a cheeky blog post written by a regulator from the Federal Trade Commission. Advisories from federal regulators instructing businesses to follow the law aren't typically known for being funny, but Michael Atleson, an attorney for the agency's advertising division, went viral this month with a public memo warning tech companies to stop falsely advertising their chatbots.


The tech industry is getting increasingly scammy. True innovation has slowed down drastically in recent years, threatening to shrink the staggering profits from the earlier parts of the century. To replace that income, tech leaders have increasingly turned to overhyped products or even outright fraud, as evidenced by the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and imprisonment of its founder. Joe Biden's administration has made shutting down consumer fraud a majority priority. Rather than dial back the shady behavior, the tech industry is turning to Donald Trump, a man whose entire business career was built on fraud, to save them.

The liberalism of the tech investor class has always been overrated. Yes, the industry overall tends to be more Democratic, but that's due to the workers more than the people in the C-suites. Still, it's alarming how many tech leaders have thrown their weight behind ending Joe Biden's presidency. As Theodore Schleifer reported in the New York Times, Trump, who used to avoid Silicon Valley, has now been regularly rubbing shoulders with its elite class. This month, he visited San Francisco for the first time since before his first presidential run, for a fundraiser that raised $12 million. In a publicity stunt donation, the Winklevoss twins of Facebook infamy, now big cryptocurrency celebrities, donated $2 million in Bitcoin to Trump.


The direct fundraising is just the tip of the iceberg. Big names in tech are also steering the larger media environment in a more Trump-friendly direction. Musk famously bought Twitter and has been steadily turning the now-named X into a dumping ground for odious right-wing propaganda, much of it overtly neo-Nazi in nature. Musk himself tweets a steady stream of "just asking questions"-style provocations about race and intelligence. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who promised the values of the Washington Post "do not need changing" when he bought it in 2013, has made a series of controversial changes in management recently, hiring multiple people who cut their teeth working for right-wing propagandist Rupert Murdoch. Both the newly hired publisher and editor, Will Lewis and Robert Winnett, were swiftly exposed for having ties to a criminal phone hacking scandal that roiled the British publishing world years ago. Winnett resigned before even starting at the Post. .........(more)


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