A Teenaged Tech CEO Tries To Sneak In After Curfew And Finds His Mom Waited Up For Him

from the but-maaaaaaaaahm dept

With Congress spending a lot of time these days demanding answers from big tech firms, you may have noticed a notable similarity in style regarding how they respond to these kinds of inquiries.

Thank you very much for inviting my input on the topic of being grounded. I appreciate the opportunity to engage with Mom regarding this important discussion.

I take living under your roof very seriously. I am proud to be a recognized leader in crucial household initiatives such as making the bed and setting the table. Last year, data rigorously collected by the chores chart on the refrigerator[1] shows that I folded the laundry 48 times, a 200% increase year over year. [2] My contributions in these areas demonstrate my ongoing commitment to this family.

From time to time, I may adjust my going-out policies based on data-driven decision-making and evaluation of the current regulatory environment. My interpretation of curfew is based upon guidance from Dad who said 1:00 a.m. was OK, but you weren?t there, I think you were at the store. If the conclusions I drew from this guidance do not reflect parental intent, I regret the miscommunication and appreciate the chance for clarification.

My policies are consistent with industry best practices in this area. According to my most recent review, Jennifer’s mom lets her come home at 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and Denise’s mom lets her sleep over at a boy’s house so long as his mom calls her mom first. Accordingly, I believe that my going-out policy reflects standard parental expectations in the community where I operate.

Should you have any additional requests for information, I can be reached in my room via text message. Mom, gawd, just text me like a normal person. No I won?t hear you knock because I always have my earbuds in. Well I put them in because you complained I was playing my music too loud, JEEZ I CAN?T DO ANYTHING RIGHT I HATE IT HERE [bursts into tears, storms upstairs]

Thank you again for the opportunity to continue the dialogue on this critical issue. I look forward to answering your questions.

[1] See Attachment A.
[2] Id.; see also [REDACTED].

When Riana Pfefferkorn is not writing satirical letters to Congress Mom, she’s a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory. She can be found online at @Riana_Crypto.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “A Teenaged Tech CEO Tries To Sneak In After Curfew And Finds His Mom Waited Up For Him”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
21 Comments
fairuse (profile) says:

And the,as long as you live under my roof you do as I say, rule

That about sums up how most committees act. Sit down I want to talk to you about your behavior, not your brother telecom because it does NatSec.

After watching too many of these meetings I stopped. They act like city state judgement boards. Also without any expertise or with lobby notes.

Well, landed a new rover on Mars so the future looks good to move out. Problem: empty real estate.

crade (profile) says:

Re: And the,as long as you live under my roof you do as I say, r

It kindof fell a bit flat for me..
I guess the idea is that the citizens are there to serve the government? That the government is the owner of the country and the citizens just mooch off them I guess? Instead of moving out to buy their own house and becoming independent adults which would mean I guess forming their own country?

Is this an endorsement of nanny state politics or a critique? I’m confused at the metaphor but not very convinced either way

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

I was confused reading the whole thing because the satire is mocking the format of Tech CEO statements when the problem isn’t the CEO statements and answers but the questions and commentary coming from the committee and hearing participants in Congress. You can’t expect meaningful statements from a CEO if the questions are half ignorant and half tailored to make a political statement on camera with zero accountability behind it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"…would be nice to know why it seems the tech industry has acquitted itself so poorly before (a rampantly ignorant &| dishonest) congress."

Looking at a few excerpts from the hearings Congress invited FB, Google and Amazon to attend…I don’t see how they could acquit themselves well.

You can’t defend yourself when all you’ve got is logic and facts but the prosecution insists you keep trying to defend yourself against a grimdark fairytale of your malfeasance they’ve tapped from the same well Trump uses for campaign speeches.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure I agree and I can actually pull an example from Techdirt. I like and read Techdirt regularly and occasionally show my support by buying merch. Last year, that included an emoji face mask. The face mask was not functional as a face mask. I mean sure it’s got the loops so you can wear it, but in the middle of a pandemic it was a single layer face mask so thin I legitimately thought if I wore it I would have, or at least should have, been called out for not even wearing a face mask.

Now I bought it more to support TechDirt than actually have a working mask. Although I was disappointed I couldn’t legitimately wear it to see if it would spark discussion from co-workers (although new thought, I should double mask and use it as the external layer), ultimately the artistry was great but the actual product was low effort and phoned in. Granted it’s a simple piece of merchandise and not a testimony to Congress but doesn’t it come from the same place?

Why would a Tech CEO go out of their way to be enlightening in a public testimony to Congress when the testimony is basically meaningless and they can phone it in? I could ask the same of the mask, why not go through the extra effort to work with a producer who can make a usable and quality mask?

I imagine someone is going to come back and say a Congressional hearing should be different than a throwaway merchandise store, but I don’t see the difference. Congress isn’t going out of the way to make it more meaningful than my face mask.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why would a Tech CEO go out of their way to be enlightening in a public testimony to Congress when the testimony is basically meaningless and they can phone it in?

A smart CEO will see these hearings for what they are: theater. Theater is meant for public consumption/entertainment, not for any meaningful decision-making. The public is watching and these hearings have the power to sway public opinion. This is an excellent opportunity for the smart CEO to drive public opinion in the direction they prefer despite the rambling efforts of Congress to drive it elsewhere.

That none of the above actually happened tells me a lot about how smart these CEOs really are. Playing the combative victim does nothing to garner public support and, in a time when such support may be desperately needed, letting this opportunity pass by is remarkably dumb.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure I agree and I can actually pull an example from Techdirt. I like and read Techdirt regularly and occasionally show my support by buying merch. Last year, that included an emoji face mask. The face mask was not functional as a face mask. I mean sure it’s got the loops so you can wear it, but in the middle of a pandemic it was a single layer face mask so thin I legitimately thought if I wore it I would have, or at least should have, been called out for not even wearing a face mask.

Have you tried double-masking? That usually works…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Reminds me of reading about the Night Trap hearing sensationalism and not even listening to the creators called to "testify" that they were literally speaking complete fiction with lies about rape. If congress doesn’t act in good faith the process becomes adversarial and means the best thing anybody called to testify can do is to say nothing of substance because anything you say can and will be used against you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

"the problem isn’t the CEO statements and answer"

This is correct. It is a human problem and all humans exhibit traits related to this problem. Simply pointing to someone else and laying blame does nothing to address said problem, it merely deflects criticism.

Addressing problems tends to be difficult and lengthy, most politicians avoid these things, sometimes not very discretely. Politicians blaming other politicians does nothing to remedy whatever the aliment is. it conveniently kicks said problem down the road .. again – not fixed.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...