The internet was supposed to be a place where freedom of expression would allow us to share our ideas – the good and the bad. In the utopian world coded by tech entrepreneurs, people would navigate the information flow and engage in quality conversations online. But that now seems idealistic and a little naive. Andrew McLaughlin, former director of public policy at Google, said the best metaphor for the current state of the internet is the so-called Tragedy of the Commons.
“If you have a common space, a park, and anybody can go and see it without any controls, the tragedy will be that that space gets trashed,” he said.
Former Google engineer James Damore wrote a controversial memo over the summer, criticizing Google’s lack of ideological diversity and arguing that “biological” reasons hold back the number of women working in tech. He became a touchpoint in Silicon Valley’s culture wars — standing in for all the men who feel oppressed by tech’s professed liberal values.
Damore hired Harmeet Dhillon, a civil rights attorney, who said she’s now representing those people. “I’ve always had a penchant for the underdog and right now, conservatives are the underdog in Silicon Valley.”