It isn’t easy being Android when you’re a fugly green humanoid robot and mad as hell. These protesters braved ridicule by dressing themselves as Google’s green mascot to bring attention to a thorny tech issue.
A new corporate accountability consumer group called SumOfUs wants Google to exit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If the CoC sounds about as uncontroversial as Main Street and apple pie, think again.
The Android-clad activists want the Mountain View, California tech colossus to pull out of the Chamber, for a number of reasons, including because the CoC “aggressively supports” SOPA.
Which, if you haven’t been following, isn’t San Francisco’s newest microhood but a bill currently being debated (full name: Stop Online Piracy Act) that could create a blacklist of sites for copyright violations without a hearing.
Yeah, that means if someone posts a link to a torrent in a forum the whole website could be yanked and companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are standing against it. (For sites like YouTube, where copyright violations are uploaded faster than Lady Gaga can change her hairdo, it’s easy to see why).
But for SumOfUs, Google shouldn’t be cozy with the CoC, which it says lobbies for millionaire tax cuts, among other things.
A group member managed to get in a word in edgewise with Eric Schmidt at an public appearance at NYU (video here), asking him what he thought of the petition placing Google at the center of a moral debate.
“We’re so used to being at center of moral campaigns that I wasn’t surprised at all,” Schmidt says at about 55:25 into the video. He cited the intervention of the CoC on Google’s behalf with China, saying that the Chamber represents “good American values,” though there are things “we disagree on.” “I’ll let the petition continue,” he concludes with a laugh.
The Androids delivered the petition in a giant “Gmail” icon envelope to Google’s D.C. offices with nearly 200,000 signatures collected online.
You can read the petition here.