[I took a second stab at this piece in Dropping Drobox: The choices we make]
I seem to have this habit of diving into one service or another, enjoying the experience, and then discovering someone’s dropped something large and smelly in the water. In the case of Facebook, which I abandoned in 2010, it was over the company’s cynical disregard for its users’ privacy. In these days of NSA peeping that may sound a little quaint, but at least the NSA has a good story—“Security!” it harumphs. “Why without us glomming onto every bit of information about you TERRORISM!!! ON OUR SHORES!!! THE CHILDREN!!! THE MUSHROOM CLOUD!!! THE UNFRIENDLY CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM OUR NEW BEARDED AND TURBANED SHOPKEEPERS!!!”
At least I think that’s how it goes. I sometimes get lost in all the capital letters.
Facebook, on the other hand, simply shrugs its hoodied shoulders and gives you the “Well, what are you gonna do about it old man? Huh? HUH!?” look.
“Leave” has always seemed to be the appropriate answer.
And I’m packing my bags again. This time, I’m stuffing those bags with any files I’ve kept on Dropbox and taking them elsewhere—Box.com for the time being, but I’m treating it more like a temporary shelter than a final destination (though it might wind up being one).
And what exactly has compelled me out the door?
Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Specifically, Dropbox has placed her on their board.
Of course it’s entirely up to the people running Dropbox to choose who they want to do-not-a-whole-lot-of-anything and get paid enormous dividends for it. But that doesn’t mean I have to support that decision with my money. And yes, I’m a paying Dropbox customer (at least I will be until I receive confirmation from Dropbox that a refund for the remainder of my subscription is on the way).
I don’t want to throw an epic rant here. Suffice it to say that I believe Ms. Rice played a key role in one of the most shameful periods of recent American history. She was well aware of and condoned torture and she helped engineer a pointless war that killed countless people. Like her colleagues Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, she’s considered a war criminal in a very few parts of the world. I simply can’t have my money go toward any effort that lines her soiled pockets.
But beyond that, what kind of faith can I place in a company so clueless as to hire her? Former politicians with their hands out to the private sector are a dime a dozen. Many of them have foreign policy experience that’s every bit as deep (and quite a bit less blood stained) as Ms. Rice's.
Even if Dropbox’s overlords have no problem with her past, how cloth-headed do you have to be to fail to understand that plenty of other people might? She's made a variety of moves to cleanse her reputation, but some things just won't wash off. So, if I may just drop into the vernacular for a bit:
What. The. Fuck. Are. You. People. Thinking?
But, as a soon-to-be former Dropbox user, that’s no longer my concern. They make decisions they believe are best for their company and I do my best to keep my conscience clean by not supporting them.
Best of luck, Dropbox. Just one thing: I'd plan any unfavorable employee reviews for those days when Ms. Rice isn't on campus. Oh, and hide the towels.