Microsoft champions progressive values while donating to Republicans

Maciej Cegłowski:

In the dissonance between his words and actions, Mr. Smith resembles another tweeter-in-chief who likes to create an alternate reality on social media.

In that mirror world, Microsoft is a champion of refugees, immigrants, women’s rights, climate science, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, equality for LGBT people, and election security. But the company’s political donations tell a conflicting story.

Most major companies donate to both sides of politics. That’s a given. And for a long time it wasn’t really a problem: companies didn’t pronounce political opinions so most people didn’t care about where they sent their money.

Now outfits like Microsoft (among countless others) have realised that being outwardly progressive is a great branding exercise (especially when you’re chasing younger audiences) but the machinations of donations haven’t caught up to the rhetoric.

And they won’t. They’re too valuable. So they’re just going to hope people don’t pay attention so no-one notices how disingenuous they are.

That is, assuming anyone really cares.

At what point will people decide that a company’s behaviour is so off-base with their personal beliefs that they’ll stop knowingly using their products? (It’s almost impossible to stop using them completely.)

There’s no one answer for that. But it’s something to sit with.