Activism comes home

Google Ventures Partner Kevin Rose tweeted yesterday that his house was the target of anti-tech activists who waved banners outside his home and handed out provocative flyers to his neighbors. A couple thoughts:

1) This incident is another troubling episode of activists crossing the line between executives’ public and private lives. While the activists’ demand for $3 billion makes a settlement impossible in this case, the trend towards extreme activist tactics should factor into every executive’s calculation over whether to fight back against activist groups.

2) Kevin Rose’s tweet set off a chain of events that turned this small neighborhood protest into national news. While Roses’s tweet was a natural reaction, he unwittingly helped fuel spectacular publicity for this activist group. As I write in my book, corporations, and in this case, high profile individuals, need to use extreme care to avoid letting activists hijack their own communications machine.

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