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Uber's fall from grace, Equifax hack, #MeToo: Tech scandals, 2017-18

by Gene Lawless (2020-04-01)


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page1-93px-Guantanamo_Bay_Gazette_--_201This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade in Review, a series on the memes, people, products, movies and so much more that have influenced the 2010s.

This is when things went from bad to worse. We learned Facebook, Twitter and the rest of social media were used as propaganda tools by Russia, North Korea, Iran and other countries hoping to interfere in the US elections. The #MeToo movement exposed sexual harassment and other bad behavior throughout Silicon Valley. And Uber's self-driving car killed someone.

If the middle of the decade was when things started to go wrong, this is when the turn became unmistakable. 



Politicians who'd spent years cozying up to tech execs like they were rock star icons of the American dream were now threatening to write laws to rein them in. The US Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and congressional committees began taking a hard look at whether the privacy failures at Facebook and Google were illegal. 

The span from 2017 to 2018 was when America's love affair with the tech world faded. 

The do-gooder persona cultivated by executives like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter chief Jack Dorsey, Google head Sundar Pichai and so many others fell apart. In its place, we saw execs seemingly clueless about the rampant abuse on their platforms.

This is the third part of our series about the biggest tech scandals of the decade. Part 1 focused on, among other things, Apple Maps, Netflix's price hikes and Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency. Part