The #DeleteUber movement quickly gained critical mass over the last few days. After Uber took advantage of the New York taxi strike to get a few more users, their customers let them have it by deleting the Uber app on their phones.
Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick have been up to pretty bad stuff for a while -- from spying on people who criticize them to trying to push customer-unfriendly laws -- but this tops everything to date.
Since #Delete Uber, the company still hasn't really done anything tangible in support of immigrants, but they have stated this: "We wanted to let you know that Uber shares your views on the immigration ban: it's unjust, wrong, and against everything we stand for as a company."
But it wasn't just Uber that stayed mostly quiet when Trump announced the Muslim ban. You may remember that in December, IBM head Virginia Rometty wrote a letter sucking up to Trump. Here is an excerpt:
Last Tuesday night you spoke about bringing the country together to build a better future, and the opportunity to harness the creative talent of people for the benefit of all. I know that you are committed to help America's economy grow in ways that are good for all its people.
At the time, the letter caused outrage among IBMers due to Trump's immigration plans. But Rometty didn't stop there: she has worked closely with Trump on tech and tech policy since the election, trying to horn in on a few more bucks to fill her wallet.
Today, after backlash, IBM released this joke of a statement:
IBM has long believed in diversity, inclusion and tolerance. As we shared with all IBMers this weekend, we have always sought to enable the balance between the responsible flow of people, ideas, commerce and information with the needs of security, everywhere in the world. As IBMers, we have learned, through era after era, that the path forward - for innovation, for prosperity, and for civil society - is the path of engagement and openness to the world. Our company will continue to work and advocate for this.
It was quite possibly the weakest statement on the Muslim ban from any major tech company. As Gizmodo's Matt Novak noted:
I guess we shouldn't expect a moral backbone from the company that assisted the Nazi regime in genocide. IBM collaborated with the Nazis in the 1930s, providing computers to tabulate German census data to see who should be slaughtered. You know those numbers tattooed on Jews at Auschwitz? They started as numbers issued by IBM. One hopes that as we see the rise of fascism in our own country, companies would take lessons from history in the face of discrimination.
Sadly, however, IBM isn't alone. As we wrote in depth previously, another very close crony to Trump is Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The media has described his relationship with Trump as a "bromance." Although Musk did make a statement against the Muslim ban, it appears that he has no intention of ending that "bromance."
Furthermore, in the past, Musk was very outspoken about climate change -- which happens to align with the goals of his business. But now, Musk has decided climate change is no longer important and has thrown his support behind ExxonMobile CEO Rex Tillerson (the guy who worked with Russia on the largest planned drilling project in history), saying that he'd be an "excellent" secretary of state.
And what about Google? While Googlers -- including Sergey Brin -- were protesting the Muslim ban, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page were cozying up to Trump, and it went beyond just the tech leader meeting. From Business Insider:
But that meeting wasn't the end. Schmidt was spotted in Trump Tower about a month after the tech summit, though it's unclear what he and Trump discussed.
Schmidt also met with Republican Sen. John Thune, who chairs the Senate's Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy before visiting Trump Tower, according to The Times.
Other tech leaders haven't been much better either. With all of the power that they have, the heads of Facebook and Google could, alone, stop this policy. Just imagine if they threatened to shut down their sites for a day (remember the net neutrality protest?). Yet they -- and many others -- have done nothing more than make generic statements about how they don't like the ban.