“There is great relief in Silicon Valley”

Chronic. The big names in Silicon Valley have remained largely silent after Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 election. It is true that more than sixty days before the nomination of the Democratic candidate, scheduled for January 20, Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are far from out of the woods. On Tuesday, November 17, the two CEOs are once again summoned to Congress by Republicans – their second hearing in three weeks. Agenda: the “Censorship exercised by platforms” digital.

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Tim Cook, their Apple counterpart, who has always preferred to turn his back on Donald Trump, hoping to limit the impact of the trade war with China on his firm, also did not directly congratulate Joe Biden, so which he called his predecessor after his victory in 2016. Nor has Sundar Pichai (Google), whose planetary mammoth is the subject of an antitrust procedure by the Department of Justice. The CEOs were satisfied with a message from their employers’ association, Business Roundtable.

Only Jeff Bezos (Amazon) – who for four years had to endure the Trumpian wrath – publicly rejoiced: “Unity, empathy and decency are not the characteristics of a bygone era”, he reacted on his Instagram account, under a jubilant photo of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Beyond public postures, there is great relief in Silicon Valley, commensurate with the gulf that has separated it from Washington for four years, whether on immigration, free trade, disinformation or Net neutrality. . Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, spoke congratulated a probable return to normal: market stability, possibility of planning, “Absence of permanent distractions”. A feeling summarized geek by Paul Graham, the founder of the Y Combinator incubator: “It’s as if someone had eliminated a background process that had occupied 5% of my microprocessor for four years”, does he have tweeted.

Known figures

The giants of Silicon Valley are well aware that the triumphant era of tech perceived as a “force for good” is over: we will not go back to the time when Google had a direct line with the Obama administration. Facebook, in particular, has no illusions: in December 2019, in an interview with New York Times, Joe Biden did not hide that he did “Never been a big fan of Zuckerberg”. Sheryl Sandberg, the assistant of “Zuck”, on the other hand takes advantage of good relations with Californian Kamala Harris, future first woman vice-president.

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