Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Christmas Day On Twitter's Street - The Not-So-Sunny Side Of SF's Tech Boom

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 12, 2014

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Outside the golden doors of Twitter’s mid-Market Street HQ is a far different world from the thousands of coddled tech workers that live inside, with free food, free laundry, free apartment cleaning, and the freedom to come and go home.

Here’s a photo essay from a walk down the not-so-sunny-side of Twitter’s street I took on Christmas Day with Ann Garrison, a reporter for KPFA news. 

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Twitter is bound by agreements with the city to help gentrify the neighborhood in exchange for more than $56m in tax savings. The company has done little beyond donating $60,000 in “sponsored Tweets” to local charity groups. 

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By keeping workers indoors all day and offering services to their staff that compete with local businesses, there is little sign of anything changing in the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods.

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Not much has changed except evictions and small shops closing as developers speculate by building office space and luxury apartments, “in the heart of SF.”

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It’s interesting that Twitter often boasts of its community-oriented corporate philosophy, yet through its demands for large tax savings and the resulting loss of millions of dollars for important city services, it chooses to be a burden on its neighbors rather than ease the daily burdens of the less fortunate.

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Ann Garrison.

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Please see:

Living In The Shadow Of The Googleplex: Communities Struggle To Keep Jobs

Segregation Of Tech Workers Leads To Mistrust And Conflict

 

The Not So Sunny Side Of Twitter's Street... 

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