Good morning, Austin! Decisions made by President Donald Trump’s administration are starting to have major impact on tech companies.
Today’s Tech Crawl is focused on all the news over the weekend related to Trump’s travel ban, which banned entry to the U.S. from refugees and visa holders from seven countries, and how tech companies are responding.
Tech companies criticize Trump travel ban
Recode reports that after “weeks of silence about President Donald Trump’s new administration,” tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple are speaking out against the Trump travel ban.
The executive order from Trump affects the ability of people to travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Recode notes that some tech leaders have been more outspoken than others. Google co-founder Sergey Brin apparently showed up at protests at the San Francisco International Airport. And Netflix’s Reed Hastings said the ban “hurts” Netflix employees and was “un-American.”
Several tech executives offer matching donations to the ACLU
Since the American Civil Liberties Union is taking on such a prominent role fighting the recent travel ban, some tech executives are offering to match donations do the ACLU.
According to TechCrunch, “multiple executives and CEOs of technology companies have come out in opposition” of the travel ban and are offering to match donations to the ACLU.
Chris Sacca, an early investor in Twitter, offered to match up to $75,000 if people showed him their donation receipts. Then he increased his pledge to $150,000. The article lists 11 other tech executives or investors that offered similar matching deals, including a Facebook executive.
Uber caught major flak for how it responded to travel ban
For some tech companies, a lack of response, or the wrong response, to the travel ban can set off a major social media backlash.
When news about the travel ban and its effects on some immigrants became clear on Saturday, New York’s taxi drivers did a one-hour work stoppage to show solidarity with the protestors at New York’s airports.
Uber responded to the issue by turning off its surge pricing at JFK airport, which some interpreted as a callous move in light of the protests. And one of its rivals, Lyft, showed more sensitivity by announcing a $1 million donation to ACLU.
As a result, a big “delete Uber” campaign ensued on social media, with critics of Uber’s decision urging people to delete the app.
By Sunday evening, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had tweeted out a response, saying the travel ban is “against everything Uber stands for.” And the company offered to compensate drivers for lost earnings because of the ban.
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