Discussion in 'International Forum' started by m_kishuri, Feb 12, 2011.
Wael Ghonim amejitolea muhanga kuokowa Taifa lake tunamwita
Wael Ghonim shujaa wa Warabu wa Misri hongera sana
Ni Mwana Jamii Forum wa huko Misri, the power of the KEYBOARD!!
dOGO anatisha kama njaa, sio utani. Ndio matunda ya Silicon Valley.
Wael Ghonim: A "One-Off" for Silicon Valley?
Wael Ghonim, the Google product manager who helped pull together the popular demonstrations that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down as Egypt's president, is the hero of the hour. But not everywhere. For many in Silicon Valley, he's their worst nightmare.
On the record, Google's not talking about Ghonim or the question of employee activism. For his part, Ghonim told CBS's Katie Couric in an interview on Friday that his participation in the protests had no connection with his employer.
"They did not know anything about this and actually when I took the time off and I went to Cairo, they did not know I was going to the protest," he said. "But when everything became public, I talked with the company and they suggested that I take a leave of absence and I also suggested that to them and I think it was a good decision for that. Google has nothing to do with this."
Asked whether he planned to return to the office, Ghonim said that he'd be honored to return to Google "if I'm not fired."
Maybe that was meant as a tongue-in-cheek comment. But there's a larger truth behind his quip. The key role played by one of Google's key executives in the Middle East revived a decades-old dilemma that many other technology companies face when it comes to the question of political activism: Where should they draw the line?
"It's one of those things that companies don't want to touch with a ten foot pole," a tech public relations exec told me on background.
The obvious truth du jour is that tech companies don't want to take political positions - even when regimes use their products to oppress their own people.