The tech industry is losing its luster to such a degree that college students in the United States are less likely than ever to consider the likes of Google or Facebook their dream place to work.
At least that's according to a New York Times report which says that many students are not happy simply to have high-paying jobs in working environments offering plenty of perks – they also want the companies employing them be ethical and socially responsible.
And here, Big Tech is seen as failing so much so that those who can afford to choose where to work are increasingly looking elsewhere.
To back up the claim of a trend that shows “Silicon Valley's most lucrative positions aren't worth the ethical quandaries” – the newspaper quotes students who said that Google and others are no longer seen as “Utopian places paying a ton of money.” Rather, they seem to be viewed as what they are: centers of enormous power, like Wall Street. “Moral qualities” are not front and center there – and some would argue, never have been.
But according to the New York Times – who coined a term for the case it's trying to argue, namely, that we're in the midst of “techlash” – things started to sour around tech giants only recently.
The report quotes fines issued by regulators for the handling of user data, decisions to work with various governments on projects seen as unethical for different reasons, and even Amazon's decision not to build a headquarters in New York City. And then, of course, there's the accusation that will not go away: that Big Tech helped spread misinformation that allegedly helped elect a US president.
The New York Times even quotes Sacha Baron Cohen's comment made during the recent Golden Globes ceremony, comparing Mark Zuckerberg to the main character in “JoJo Rabbit” as “a naive, misguided child who spreads Nazi propaganda and only has imaginary friends.”
But curiously, the report doesn't mention the “tech remark” made by Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais – maybe because it doesn't have to do with accusations of “propaganda.”
“Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China,” Gervais said, with Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting in the audience.