If Silicon Valley investors cared about Saudi human rights abuses, they’d do more than snub a conference

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (L) welcomes Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman (R) at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. 

Venture capitalists should display some responsibility just like big corporations do.

Just as companies like Facebook this year have begun to grapple with their corporate responsibility, Silicon Valley investors this week began to confront what could be called their geopolitical responsibility.

The proximate cause: The alleged murder of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi on orders from Saudi Arabia leaders, in an event that could put an end to the budding love affair between the Saudi money machine and the Silicon Valley titans who welcomed it with open arms just six months ago.

So, on Thursday, a few Silicon Valley celebrities came out to say that they were disappointed in the Saudi government: Steve Case, the former AOL chief executive, said he was putting his plans to attend this month’s glitzy Saudi finance conference — ‘Davos in the Desert’ — “on hold.” Sam Altman, the head of the influential Y Combinator incubator, said he would suspend his work advising the Saudis on their new “smart city” called NEON.

That’s all well and good. But if Silicon Valley’s conscience was as perturbed as it pretends to be,

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