Google has a brilliant solution to Europe’s refugee crisis: they’re giving away free Chromebooks. With repatriation still a controversial option, the Silicon Valley giant no doubt hopes that foisting their painfully slow hardware on immigrants will scare at least some of them back to Syria.
Cunningly, Google are framing their hardline anti-immigration strategy as a harmless humanitarian exercise. In a stunningly Machiavellian blog post, the company said it was providing the Chromebooks to “facilitate access to education” noting that they can “easily be set up to run education or language learning apps.”
Google have dubbed their initiative “Project Reconnect.” This is probably a reference to how the unfortunate Chromebook-owning migrants will be spending most of their time: reconnecting, and reconnecting, and reconnecting.
As an anti-immigration strategy, Google’s plan really is flawless. Immigrants seeking work in Europe will waste days of their time trying to install Microsoft Word on their Chromebooks so that they can save their CVs. By the time their extension-overloaded Chrome browsers start causing memory leaks, they’ll be begging for the relative comfort of a warzone.
I’m not sure if Google is also planning to rig its search autocomplete to repeatedly suggest cheap flights back to the Middle East, but I doubt it’ll be necessary. After being greeted with Chromebooks, they’ll be happy to walk back.
Breitbart is one of the most strident voices of opposition to Europe’s open-door immigration policies, but even I’m shocked by the audacity of Google’s Trojan Horse. Eric Schmidt must have been reading The Iliad recently. Beyond handing out free Google Glasses, I couldn’t think of a better anti-immigration strategy.
Google’s decision to give free Chromebooks to refugees is a remarkable shift for the company, which has previously been a bastion of Silicon Valley progressivism. It’s almost as if they think their Chromebooks are actually a good product!