Money’s not the issue, moral is.
What happens if you hit a corporation like Google with a €4.3 billion fine? Nothing. What happens if you criticize them for manipulating and censoring search results and content? Nada. But If you voice concerns regarding their use of personal data and people’s integrity and their aggressive tax avoidance, that should do the trick right? The answer is that nothing will happen and it does not seem to matter if you are user, shareholder, legislator or a politician, they’re just too big, too rich and too powerful for practically anything to even put a dent in the facade. They’ll pay their fines and move on to the next deal.
Therefore it was somewhat comforting with 20.000 employers walking out of Google’s offices around the world last Thursday. Because it means something can shake corporations that size. There is something they’re not able to buy their way out of.
The #GoogleWalkout movement started when Android co-founder Andy Rubin got paid $90 million by Google after it learned of sexual misconduct allegations against him. That was the last straw and employers reacted with their feet (and some handwritten signs) resembling a typical 20th-century labor union strikes. A reassuringly low-tech move by the way.
You know the old saying “politics beats money, but technology beats politics”? Seems like common decency, in effect being civilized beats both money and technology. And that is essentially a good thing – and good news in a society where corporations and organisations have outgrown the legal, political and financial structures we’ve built to manage them with. Corporations can afford anything except not being human.
I’m not condoning mob rule or the glorification of vox populi logic post metoo here. I’m not even particularly interested in Google either. Replace them with any large institution, bank or corporation. The fact that some things still aren’t for sale is a comforting thought.
Everything communicates. Thank God.