Despite touting themselves as liberal, open-minded and tolerant, many tech leaders in Silicon Valley contradict their message of diversity by openly bashing their colleagues simply because of their different political views. This level of hypocrisy within California’s tech hub came to light during and after the presidential campaign.
During the period leading up to the election, many leaders of the country’s technology sector backed Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party. Aside from their millions of dollars in donations to the candidate’s campaign, they also expressed their support by signing petitions and letters that criticized Donald Trump.
But, even though Silicon Valley was largely considered as strong backers of Clinton, there were still a few tech moguls who lauded Trump, such as investor and Facebook board director Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey, the founder of the virtual reality tech developer Oculus VR. Unfortunately for Thiel and Luckey, their decision to support Trump made them the targets of political persecution in Silicon Valley, The Hill reported.
For instance, after Thiel gave $1.25 million to Trump’s campaign, many of his contemporaries, such as former Director Catherine Bracy of the Community Organizing for Code for America, called on Facebook to remove him from its board.
Luckey also went through the same experience after providing financial support to Nimble America, an organization that creates and distributes memes that criticize Clinton. After making the donation, game developers working with his company’s flagship device Oculus Rift threatened to boycott Oculus VR and its projects if Luckey doesn’t resign.
The level of hate experienced by people such as Thiel and Luckey for simply expressing their political views is certainly surprising, especially since it happened within an environment where diversity and tolerance are largely promoted.
As noted by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in October, this kind of hypocrisy and intolerance goes against people’s desire to establish a stable social environment.
“We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate,” he said according to Vanity Fair.