The Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol reveals the danger from digital media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here’s what must be done to transform Silicon Valley’s corruption of the media infrastructure.

The beautiful dream of an open and free internet, serving as a global agora of unlimited free speech to provide more democratic participation, has crashed and burned one more time. The January 6 mob attack on the US Capitol was incited and planned over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital media platforms, with a tragic nudge from the president of the United States. …


by Steven Hill

Like so much about politics today, the debate around Uber and Lyft’s Proposition 22 in California has quickly become polarized. Simplistic media narratives like “Silicon Valley versus labor unions,” or Uber’s self-serving argument that its drivers prefer flexibility over security, leave voters confused and torn.

Uber and Lyft’s nearly $200 million ballot measure will overturn one of the most important labor laws passed in the US in several decades. It also will perpetuate the second-class economic status of its large taxi driver workforce (see a fuller analysis of Prop 22 later in the article). Many of these Uber and Lyft…


To avoid a “red mirage” and safeguard the election, put on your mask and vote in-person

by Steven Hill

Joe Biden and the Democrats are walking into a trap in the key battleground states that will decide the upcoming presidential race, as well as key Senate elections. That trap is called “vote by mail/ absentee voting.”

Imagine this nightmare Election Night scenario: with so many more Biden supporters voting by mail, that means in a close election it is likely President Trump will be ahead on election night, based on partial returns in a number of battleground states (a scenario that has been called “a red mirage.”) President Trump already has furiously deployed his Twitter soap box to discredit…


‘Raw Deal’ author Steven Hill on Uber tech, the perils of the “Californian Ideology,” and the twilight of the elites.

By Johnny Ray Huston (first published at 48 Hills)

The overarching theme of this year’s LaborFest is “Labor On the Edge: Dystopia or a Future for Workers.” One of the events most relevant to that pressing concern is “The Gig Economy, AI, Robotics, Workers and Dystopia San Francisco.” …


Uber has been promoting itself in its pre-IPO roadshow as the “Amazon of transportation,” but the comparison is misleading. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is cleverly positioning his company so that it appears as more than just a taxi-like ride-hailing business, highlighting itself as an online platform that can connect users to a number of transportation-related side businesses. “Cars are to us what books were to Amazon,” says Khosrowshahi. …


Will Mayor London Breed succeed?

San Francisco’s new mayor-elect, London Breed, has impressively risen from the most troubled of upbringings, wracked by poverty and urban ghetto life. As the first African American female mayor of this high tech city, and the only female mayor among the 15 largest US cities, her inspiring personal story has lifted many hopes and expectations.

But the challenges of governing over a decaying urban vortex like San Francisco are formidable. As a journalist, I spend a lot of time in Europe, and recently I was a fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) for several months. …


“Yes, Senator, I am watching you”

Is Mark Zuckerberg really in control of Facebook? Or is he a sorcerer’s apprentice that cannot handle his invention?

Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in the nation’s capital was chilling to watch. On display was Silicon “catch me if you can” Valley vs. an out-of-touch United States Congress. Does Zuckerberg realize how truth-dodging he looked and sounded? Or does the 33-year-old billionaire CEO just not care, as long as Congress leaves his Frankenstein creation alone? And do the members of Congress realize how clueless and unprepared they looked? Do they realize that what is at stake over the “monster-ization” of Facebook is nothing less than the future of the Internet?

On the surface, this was an exercise in damage control, on…


“Yes, Senator, I am watching you”

Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in front of 44 US Senators was chilling to watch. On display was Silicon “Catch me if you can” Valley vs. the United States Congress. Does Zuckerberg realize how truth-dodging he looked and sounded? Or is he as notoriously tongue-tied as they say and can’t help himself? Or does the 33-year-old billionaire CEO just not care, as long as the Senators leave his Frankenstein creation alone? …


Many hipsters and “new tech” enthusiasts are enraptured by the so-called “sharing economy” and its leading companies, such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft. If you really believe that these companies have anything to do with “sharing,” then you really need to see Company Town.

That’s the name of a new riveting film by award-winning directors Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow, which is opening in late October and early November for a limited run in the San Francisco-Bay area (see below for details on showings).

San Francisco, where these Silicon Valley companies have originated, has been the epicenter for a tech…


President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, at approximately 3:30 pm EST

It was a dream like no other. It awoke me, I looked at the clock, 3:37 am. Here’s what President Roosevelt said to me:

“We have nothing to fear but ourselves — and our own timidity and indecisiveness…

“Let us not remain stuck to the flypaper of old ideas…

“Many Americans are being subjected to increasing pressure in their working lives. Fewer workers have a single employer or a regular workplace anymore, instead more of them have to juggle multiple employers and part-time jobs and ‘gigs.’ …

Steven Hill

fmr Center for Humane Tech, NewAmerica, FairVote, author:“RawDeal &Uber Economy” “EuropesPromise“ ”10Steps toRepairUS Democracy” Steven-Hill.com @StevenHill1776

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store