I'm not saying that programmers would become inherently more moral if they unionized, but shitty rich people would have a lot less purchase to use them to build heinous shit

@kelbesque honestly, there are a significant number of programmers who do moral protests against things like, you know, building censored search engines for china etc. and actions like that have impacted company policies at times because programmers are in short supply. But... it's swimming upstream. You can build a lot of horrible things with a team of only 30 people.

And sometimes, you build the horrible thing before you even realize it's horrible... and then watch it be used to do bad.

@kelbesque like, I used to work at Groupon. It's a coupon company... that's all it really is, a company that arranges coupons and sends you a curated list tailored to your needs. Surface level, that sounds pretty innocuous. But we were so popular and effective in some places that it was pushing local small businesses to have razor thin margins to attract our customers. They used us hoping to draw people in with coupons, but it turned out those folks ONLY showed up when there was a coupon.

@kelbesque worse, we were draining the customers from other places. So in some cities where we hit a critical mass, as a small business owner you HAD to use Groupon, and that meant you HAD to have razor thin margins.

That wasn't anyone's intent at Groupon, not when they conceived of it, and certainly while I was there most of the engineers I knew thought they were helping small businesses attract customers It was an unpredictable secondary impact of being so good at coupons.

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