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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Changing the rules after the fact

Uploaded: Dec 6, 2018
It’s almost laughable to watch a San Francisco politician—ever so politically correct—decide that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s name should be removed from San Francisco General Hospital.
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $75 million to the hospital in 2015 as part of the renovation of the major public hospital in San Francisco. In exchange, his name would be attached to the hospital. Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff has his name on the UCSF Children’s Hospitals because of major gifts he and his wife have made over the years. Politically, I often find myself on opposite side of political issues with Benioff, but I admire his commitment to sharing his wealth.
San Francisco Supervisor Arron Peskin last week requested the city attorney institute a legislative process that could remove Zuckerberg’s name from the hospital and change the rules for swapping naming rights for substantial donations.
Peskin cited the spate of bad decisions and controversies that have dogged Facebook in the last couple of years, including the Cambridge Analytica issue. Ironically, Facebook willingly provided the 2012 Obama re-election campaign with the same information, but, because it was a Democrat campaign, nobody whined about it.
The supervisor is welcome to move to change the rules going forward, but this is a case where a deal is a deal. Just because you happen to not like what his company is doing is no reason to change tear up a contract after the fact.
Let me be clear: I am no fan of Facebook and rarely use it. My primary use is keeping up on what’s happening on Project Canaan (run by Heart for Africa) in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). Co-founder Janine Maxwell uses the Facebook channel to keep people around the world up-to-date on what’s happening at the children’s home where 218 kids now live.
The government interest in Facebook also is of concern. It’s clear that most of Facebook’s staff are liberal and like Google, they have censored conservative viewpoints. These were not whacko extremist comments. As bad as the actions of the private companies have been, I shudder at the notion that the government is going to decide the rules for what can and cannot be posted.
One of the great strengths of the Internet is it gives a voice at a tiny cost to anyone with access. Although Google and Facebook control 57 percent of the digital advertising market, their market share shrank slightly in 2018. There is room for competition.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Danville, a resident of Danville,
on Dec 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm

San Francisco has become the "Emperor has no clothes" city, where the monopolistic party politicians somehow can not see the human feces, drug needles, and through the roof spikes in auto burglary crimes, but somehow "sees" the alleged evil in a business leader voluntarily donating $75 million dollars to help the county hospital that provides life and death medical care to the uninsured and poor. It does not matter if you are a liberal(Zuckenberg) or moderate or conservative, their politicians treat the business leaders brining jobs and revenue to their city like hostile invaders, and slowly but surely business's are moving out of the city. PGE, Chevron, and many others, finally had enough, and left.

It will only be a matter of time before this city files bankruptcy, despite record property taxes, as the spending on social services will overpass the income, and the monopolistic party running the city will have nobody to blame but themselves.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm

it was almost laughable, I certainly had a chuckle when I read it in online news.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 7, 2018 at 10:03 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Hmm...the left eating its own; I like it.

I, for one, enjoy using Facebook. It really does keep me connected to distant family and friends. Politics aside, it really is a useful platform for just such reasons.

HOWEVER, it is moving leftward at an alarming pace. The usage of censoring political messages, primarily on the right, seems to have gained momentum since the devastating loss Clinton supporters took in the last election. I have received noticeably less posts from right-leaning pages than in the past and I tend to block any left-leaning.

Back to the original point, I like that the left is tending to swallow their own. Take for example the recent news involving Kevin Hart, who was supposed to host the next Oscars show only to resign because of jokes he made of the LGBT... community from as far back as 2010.


With this kind of censoring, there will be no comedy that isn't expressly political in nature by 2030.

Thanks Democrats. Real nice job...

Posted by armor games, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 17, 2019 at 5:25 pm

Very informative article. Pretty sure people would love to go to that place for shopping. Specially to those who are semi naughty or semi conservative people. I guess there are a lot of things their that can be bought. Web Link

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