How should tech companies respond to tragedies in the real world? On Thursday, after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Google tweeted a message of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and on Friday, Facebook erected a “Black Lives Matter” sign outside its headquarters.
And now that those shootings have been joined by the deaths of five Dallas police officers, Uber paused its app for a minute at midnight “to reflect on gun violence.” Its acknowledgement of a painful week also includes a message when you launch the app, and peace signs instead of UberX cars on its maps.
Does such a gesture accomplish anything? I’m still pondering the matter. But it’s fascinating to watch tech giants wrestle with such questions for themselves.