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Tech Was Supposed to Get Political. It’s Hanging Back in This Election.

“I’ve just been super busy,” Mr. Altman wrote in an email, adding that he had “no idea” why others had been so quiet. A spokesman for Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder who previously showed an intense interest in politics, waved off an inquiry, saying: “Don’t really have anything new to report.”

Mr. Brin has no political thoughts to share at present, a Google spokeswoman said. Even Peter Thiel, who backed Mr. Trump when hardly anyone else in Silicon Valley would, appears not to be making any donations at the moment.

Hunter Walk, formerly with Google’s YouTube and now a venture capitalist, appeared in the 2011 video supporting Mr. Lee. “That was the beginning — and end — of my viral video career,” he said. Others in the video were Marissa Mayer, then chief executive of Yahoo, and Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter.

Mr. Walk said he was supporting Ms. Breed, the mayoral candidate who seems to have the most backing from tech. Mr. Stone said he was “usually not public about politics” but had been helping Ms. Breed “with social media strategy and expertise,” introducing her to knowledgeable people. Ms. Mayer, who could not be reached for comment, gave $500, the legal maximum, to Ms. Breed.

If tech is determined to be low key about San Francisco politics, there is an eminently practical reason: fears of a backlash.


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