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Big Tech Resurrects the Media Monopoly Rush Busted – The Rush Limbaugh Show



Big Tech Resurrects the Media Monopoly Rush Busted - The Rush Limbaugh Show

BRETT: One of the great threats it to our freedom and liberty — without a doubt in my mind, especially after what we just saw in 2020 — is a Big Tech monopolies. Oh, these tech companies! They love you when you’re coming on and posting silly cat pictures, when you’re involved in something they’re selling. But this is a very, very dangerous group of corporations.

None less than Clarence Thomas, in a concurrence this week, argued that the time is coming to regulate these Big Tech operations — Facebook, Twitter, Google, you name it. Now, the case that he was concurring the decision to vacate a lower court’s ruling on a case involving President Donald Trump and whether or not he had violated First Amendment of users he’d blocked on Twitter.

But in the context of that case that was in front of the Supreme Court, you had something written by Clarence Thomas that is just spectacular, absolutely spectacular. Justice Thomas wrote, “As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.”

One of the analogies he used in this piece was a reference to the ability to avoid certain restrictions. But at the end of the day, what Thomas was talking about was saying, essentially these folks are operating like utilities. They’re operating like utilities, and the idea that you can cut that off?

The idea that you can modify that, the idea that you can do those things that do not protect the First Amendment right of the folks? It’s no good. He “argued some tech platforms are ‘sufficiently akin’ to carriers such as telephone companies. If tech platforms were regulated like utilities, they could be forced to do away with moderation standards they currently use.

“‘A traditional telephone company laid physical wires to create a network connecting people,’ Thomas wrote. ‘Digital platforms lay information infrastructure that can be controlled in much the same way.’ He went on to explain the scope of tech companies’ power, citing Facebook’s roughly 3 billion users.” Here’s the money thing that he talked about that I thought was how long ago.

“‘It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,’ Thomas wrote. ‘But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.’”

Huge point. Rush talked about this. He talked about the new big three reviving the news monopoly that Rush busted.

RUSH: When this all started Google was fair or more fair than they are now. But to expect a bunch of leftists — this would be like expecting the Democrat Party to give us access and to have the Democrat Party promote our point of view for 40 or 50% of the day. We would never expect that to happen.

And yet there is this expectation that Google should. “Well, but it’s the only search engine.” No, it’s not the only search engine. There’s all kinds of search engines out there. There’s DuckDuckGo. There’s Bing, which is Microsoft. Look, I don’t want to appear to be insensitive. Because I understand. I understand the problem. Google is the search engine of search engines. And they ought to be playing fair since they have so much power.

And that’s what this hearing is about today. The monopolistic power that these tech companies have — and there’s always the threat of antitrust legislation unless they straighten up. But the Democrats are not gonna do anything to harm Google. The Democrats are not gonna do anything to harm Facebook. The Democrats aren’t gonna do anything to harm Twitter. And the Democrats run the House. So the idea that the Democrats are going to do anything to damage their political partners?

Google is gonna remain a monopoly on search. Google, Facebook, whatever, is gonna remain a monopoly on whatever it is. Twitter is gonna remain the sewer that it is. And they’re all going to remain tied to the hip of the Democrat Party. Now, here’s Zuckerberg’s answer. Question he was asked by Sensenbrenner:

“It was reported that Donald Trump Jr, got taken down (from Twitter) for a period of time, because he put something up of the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. There still is a debate on whether it is effective. Wouldn’t that be up to somebody else to say, okay, what somebody posted on this really isn’t true, here’s what the facts are, rather than having a Twitter or Facebook take it down?”

It’s a great question. It’s what I raised yesterday. Who is the medical expert at Twitter or Facebook that can, on the fly and within minutes, claim that the Nigerian doctor doesn’t know what she’s talking about? Nor does anybody in her doctor’s group know what they’re talking about. Who is it at Facebook that knows these things? Who is it at Twitter? Here’s Zuckerberg’s answer.

ZUCKERBERG: We do not want to become the arbiters of — of truth. I think that that would be a bad position for us to be in and not — not what we should be doing. But on specific claims, if someone is gonna go out and say that hydroxychloroquine is proven to cure COVID, when in fact it has not been proven to cure COVID and that that statement could lead people to take a drug that in some cases some of the data suggests that it might be harmful to people, we think that we should take that down. That could cause imminent risk of harm.

RUSH: Yeah, but we don’t want to be arbiters of truth. See, we don’t want to be arbiters of truth except on hydroxychloroquine, and then we will be arbiters of truth. This business of research that suggests it might be harmful to people is bogus.

Folks, I got a theory here about what’s going on. And the theory might irritate some people, but let me share it with. Okay, 24 and 8, Mike. Have them standing by. Go back to 1988. In 1988, there were the big three — ABC, CBS, NBC — and then you had the New York Times, the Washington Post. That was the media. They owned it.

There were only three TV networks and the two big papers, and that was a monopoly. They owned it. They owned what to report, what not to report. They owned commentary. Then this show kicked off in August of ’88, and we busted their monopoly. For the first time, for the first time in generations — maybe first time ever — there was an alternative to the liberal dominance in news and information controlled by CBS, NBC, ABC, and the newspapers.

So this show begins, then Rush Limbaugh the TV Show, then a number of other conservative radio talk shows, nationally and locally, then Fox News. And pretty soon the blogosphere and websites. And pretty soon there is this massive, right-wing, alternative media that busts up the mainstream media’s monopoly — and they still haven’t gotten over it!

They are still trying to recapture the days of glory when they were able to get rid of anybody they wanted to with one of two stories. They’d get rid of Nixon, get rid of any Republican they wanted to because they had. That all ended in August of 1988. I think that even though it’s taken them 30 years, they have now begun to reestablish their control of the flow of news and information and there’s a new big three now.

It’s not ABC, CBS, NBC anymore. It’s Google, Facebook, and Twitter. I think the Democrat Party and Big Media have gone ahead and conceded that if they’re to get their dominance and their monopoly in news back, it’s gonna have to be with Google and Twitter and Facebook. I think those are the new big three replacing ABC, CBS, NBC from all the way back in 1988 and years before.

Now, it took them 30 years to recover from what started in 1988. But that’s what we’re facing. Now, ABC, CBS, NBC are still powerful. Don’t misunderstand. CNN, all that. But the real monopoly in news now is Facebook and Twitter and Google with their search engine, because it is those three who can eliminate conservatism on the Web. They can eliminate by denying advertising revenue.

They can deny them presence in search engines. They have tried to take me and this program out I can’t tell you how many times, and they’ve failed. Do you know why? We have never been dependent on them. I have never been dependent on social media for a dollar of revenue generated by this program. We do it independently. We don’t depend on some foreign sales outfit, some conglomerate that sells advertising for everybody. We do it ourselves.

So it’s the same thing. Where the media didn’t make me, they can’t break me. The media is not responsible for any of my revenue. They can’t take it away. They can try. They can institute these boycotts. They can try to destroy me, my reputation, all that — and they’ve tried numerous times. They’ve failed. So they can be beat, or they can be stopped. But not if you depend on ’em for either revenue or search engine results or what have you.

BRETT: And that’s the ultimate huge challenge. We witnessed the old big three coming out this past Sunday night, one of the old big three, CBS and 60 Minutes coming out just this past Sunday night with their hit on Ron DeSantis. Coming up we’re gonna give you another reason why it is that 60 Minutes ran that hit piece on Ron DeSantis this weekend.


BRETT: Let’s go back to this Big Tech conversation that we were hearing from Rush, talking about Zuckerberg and hydroxychloroquine and all of that being set up against the backdrop of Clarence Thomas’s concurrence earlier this week.

Saying essentially, “Hey, these new Big Three — this Google, this Twitter, this Facebook — they gotta get regulated. This is not gonna be able to operate this way for much longer.” One of the voices, the big voices against the Big Tech tyranny was, surprisingly enough, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida who came out in the immediate aftermath of the election and said, “Listen.

“I am going to introduce legislation in the Florida house that is going to pass; it is going to prohibit these social media platforms from restraining people’s speech if you’re a candidate.” He was proposing hefty daily fines on Twitter and Facebook and Google, et al, as part of the punished. Now people starting to scratch their chins and say, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

“Hmm! Why would Ron DeSantis have been targeted by 60 Minutes about this hit job when they actually cut out a whole hunk of his answer to make him look like he was corrupt and crooked, taking a hundred thousand dollars to the super PAC from Publix to give out vaccines to the elderly?” It was obviously a hit job. Well, here’s Rush talking about that big war on Big Tech from Ron DeSantis.

RUSH: Ron DeSantis. This guy has got what we call an iron-enforced spine, the governor of Florida. “In a 45-minute speech, the governor [of Florida, Ron DeSantis] identified Big Tech companies as the leading threat to American democracy and freedom of expression today, and pledged that Florida Republicans would take action.

“[He] accused the tech giants of ‘clear viewpoint discrimination,’ highlighting the censorship of Donald Trump and the removal of Parler from the internet and Apple and Google-controlled app stores. ‘The core issue here is this: are consumers going to have the choice to consume the information they choose, or are oligarchs in Silicon Valley going to make those choices for us?

“No group of people should exercise such power, especially not tech billionaires in Northern California,’” and, man, oh, man is that right. Tell me: Where else do you hear anybody speaking out like this — in government? Yeah, you have some op-ed writers, some other people speaking out on this, but this? You don’t hear elected officials so much. Some members of Congress do. Let me just tell you: We are watching the de facto merger of media and social media and state — government — the merger of giant corporations and state.

This is when Democrats control Washington. The propaganda arm of the Democrat Party has never been more powerful than today, and don’t forget that they’ve got Antifa and Black Lives Matter soldiers as their military arm. Republicans who do not cave to the extraordinary pressure exerted on them in Washington today… Do you know who they are?

They’re tomorrow’s leaders. Republicans who do not cave to all of this are tomorrow’s leaders. Here’s Miranda Devine, and “Facebook’s Squad of Thought Police” is her piece. She says, “When you see him speak, it’s hard to believe that such a gormless geek as Mark Zuckerberg may be the most powerful person in the free world.

“But socially inept tech oligarchs now wield unprecedented power to censor political thought and speech and are transforming America into an authoritarian surveillance state. For now,” and that’s the key in that sentence. “For now, it is conservatives they are silencing and demonizing, in partnership with the Democratic Party.” For now.

But after a while when they think they think that they’ve finished that, they’re gonna move on to whoever else is insolent, and they’re gonna begin to demonize and silence that group. Who will it be? We don’t know. But they’re not going to stop exercising this power they have simply by vanquishing conservatives. This kind of power, you have fun using, and they’re gonna be doing it day in and day out.

“We already know Silicon Valley leans left… But the partisan power of Big Tech was laid bare this month when they acted in concert to censor Donald Trump and many of his 74 million voters, and then crushed free speech competitor Parler.

Now Facebook has turbo-charged its woke corporate agenda with a new ‘vice president of civil rights’ — an Obama administration alumnus obsessed with systemic police racism — and a global ‘oversight board’ of retired politicians and human-rights activists paid to rubber-stamp [Facebook’s] crackdown on conservatives, a.k.a. ‘domestic terrorists.’” So Facebook has hired a new squad of thought police aimed at conservatives … “for now.” For now.

BRETT: “For now.” For sure! It’s incredible. You know, between what we just heard in the clip in that last segment about who the truth-tellers are as it relates to hydroxychloroquine. Who’s your medical adviser? Who’s your doctor? Who’s your expert? You know, at the same time they have the fact-checkers. “Oh, we have fact-checkers.”

How many times have you posted something on Facebook and, “The fact-checkers have determined that this is not in line with what we expect from the facts that we want to go out there.” No, it isn’t. These people need to be regulated. And I think what DeSantis did by blazing that trail on the state level is genius, because if you end up with a situation where Jack Dorsey and Zuckerberg, Tim Cook at Apple, Google…

Just go down all those rungs. Go down all those places. If they’re gonna fall afoul of state laws, they’re gonna be spending a fortune to try to get back into compliance. It’s time to use the states for what you can, to get the people in those states protected from these Big Tech oligarchs.

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Texas Cracks Down on Big Tech Censorship with New Bill, Russia Files Lawsuit Against Google, Facebook – Bringing you Truth, Inspiration, Hope.




Texas Cracks Down on Big Tech Censorship with New Bill, Russia Files Lawsuit Against Google, Facebook - Bringing you Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

The governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, plans to sign into law a bill that will prevent social media platforms from censoring the state’s citizens’ posts. After declaring that censorship won’t be tolerated in the Lone Star State, the governor warned that the First Amendment is under attack from social media companies.

The bill, SB 12, is authored by Republican Senator Bryan Hughes and will empower Texans who are wrongfully restricted or de-platformed to file a lawsuit and help them get back on the platform. The Texas Attorney General will hold the right to bring a claim on behalf of an individual. 

If the social media platform fails to comply, the court can impose daily penalties. Governor Abbott noted that these online sites had become today’s public squares where information must be allowed to flow freely. However, the present-day scenario is such that big tech often acts as the jury, determining whose viewpoints are valid and what perspectives can be discussed.

“America was built on freedom of speech and healthy public debate, and efforts to silence conservative viewpoints on social media are wrong and weaken public discourse. I thank Senator Hughes for offering SB 12 to help protect Texans from being wrongfully censored on social media for voicing their political or religious viewpoints. With SB 12, Senator Hughes is taking a stand against Big Tech’s political censorship and protecting Texans’ right to freedom of expression,” Abbott said in a statement.

Hughes expressed great concern at American citizens getting censored on social media for not conforming to a narrow worldview approved by leftist ideologies. He argues that phone companies and cable companies cannot cut people off because of differing political or religious viewpoints. 

Since social media platforms are common carriers, they must not be allowed to discriminate in a manner that violates the First Amendment. 

Industry association TechNet said that lifting content restrictions could result in kids getting exposed to harmful information online. However, Hughes dismissed such concerns, stating that the legislation will only apply to political and religious speech and not any “lewd, lascivious” activity. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Texas Senate, has called the bill one of his 31 priorities for the current legislative session. Abbott hopes to sign SB 12 into law by September 1.

Russian lawsuit

The Russian government is also getting on board in the fight against big tech, but for a different reason. Moscow has filed lawsuits against Google, Twitter, and Facebook for failing to comply with the government’s censorship requests, which demanded the deletion of posts asking youngsters to join in the protests held against Alexei Navalny’s detainment, the opposition leader.

The lawsuit was filed by the Russian Internet regulatory agency Roskomnadzor. Each platform has three charges against them, with each violation potentially resulting in a fine of up to 4 million roubles (approx. $54,000). 

The lawsuits will be heard on April 2. According to Roskomnadzor, legal actions are pending against other foreign social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Telegram. 

Facebook had recently blocked numerous accounts for spreading disinformation against Navalny supporters, angering Roskomnadzor, which demanded a full explanation for the sudden move. The company stated that the disinformation campaign aimed to generate large volumes of false posts in a bid to muffle the posts made by Navalny sympathizers. 

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Facebook to become first major tech company to bring Seattle workers back to offices




Facebook to become first major tech company to bring Seattle workers back to offices

Facebook announced Tuesday that it plans to bring its Seattle employees back to its offices at 10% capacity.

Amazon hosts pop-up vaccine clinic in Seattle

This makes the social media giant the first large tech company in the Puget Sound region to begin bringing its workers back in person. In total, Facebook employs over 5,400 people in the region, the fifth most among major tech companies behind Amazon, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Google respectively.

In a statement to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Facebook spokesman Tracy Clayton indicated that “offices in Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond are on the verge of opening again at a scale not seen since the COVID pandemic began more than a year ago,” but did not offer a timeline for when exactly that might occur.

The 10% of workers Facebook plans to bring back will be prioritized based on those who have been facing struggling most to be productive with the work-from-home model, the company told the Journal.

Officially, the company still plans to continue offering the option to voluntarily work at home until July 2 worldwide.

“We are encouraging everyone who can do their work remotely to continue working from home,” Clayton said.

Report: Amazon now has more employees than Boeing in WA

In the meantime, Facebook says it will continue monitoring local COVID-19 trends, as well as testing and vaccine access to assess its plans for the future.

Other tech companies in the Puget Sound region have continued to maintain their own remote work policies, including Amazon, where the option to work full time from home remains in place at least through June 2021. Microsoft took that a step further last October, indicating that it plans to enact flexible work schedules that would incorporate remote work options permanently.

Meanwhile, state leaders continue to encourage schools to begin phasing out their own remote models, pushing for students to at least begin returning to classrooms in a hybrid model. That’s based on emergent data indicating that students are less likely to significantly contribute to the spread of COVID-19, and continued increases in vaccine distribution statewide.

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Chandler ranks among the best cities for women in tech | AZ Big Media




Chandler ranks among the best cities for women in tech | AZ Big Media

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that computer and information technology jobs are expected to have grown by 11% from 2019 to 2029, adding 531,200 new jobs in cloud computing, big data storage and collection and information security. The median annual wage for those jobs in May 2019 was $88,240, which is $48,430 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.

But while tech jobs continue to outpace other occupations nationwide, women still face gender discrimination in the workplace. The BLS says that full-time women workers in all occupations earned $202 less per week than their male counterparts in the third quarter of 2020. This not only makes it harder for women to advance in their careers, but it also adversely affects their ability to save for retirement and cover many day-to-day expenses like food or housing. The employment landscape, however, continues to change. With that in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify the best cities for women tech workers.

READ ALSO: 25 tech startups to watch in Metro Phoenix

We compared 63 U.S. cities for which full data was available and ranked them according to the following metrics: gender pay gap in the tech industry, income after housing, women as a percentage of tech workers and three-year growth in tech employment. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s seventh annual study on the best cities for women in tech. Check out the 2020 version here.

Key Findings

• Tech opportunities are moving outside of California. Silicon Valley is widely considered the premiere tech hub of America. However, our 2021 study shows that only two California cities rank in the top 15, and neither of those are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Women can seize tech opportunities in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, New Mexico, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Washington D.C.

• Women in tech still face a relatively large pay gap. While tech is often considered a progressive industry, our study shows that women on average make 83 cents for every dollar that is earned by their male counterparts. The city with the worst pay gap is Salt Lake City, Utah where women make only 68% of what men get. By contrast, Long Beach, California is the only city in the study where women earn slightly more than men – making $1.01 for every dollar that their male tech peers get.

1. Arlington, VA

Arlington, Virginia is an “inside-the-beltway” suburb of Washington, D.C., and women make up 33.5% of their tech workforce, the sixth-largest on our list. Women tech workers in Arlington also have the eighth-largest income after housing, earning $64,620. Women in this city face the 12th-lowest pay gap in tech, earning 91 cents for every dollar that men make.

2. Washington, DC

Located just across the Potomac River from Arlington, the nation’s capital has a tech industry that is made up of 38.9% women workers, the second-largest percentage for this metric in our study. Women in Washington D.C. get 90 cents for every dollar that their male co-workers make, the 16th-lowest pay gap overall. Furthermore, they have the 12th-highest income, earning $61,083 after housing.

3. Baltimore, MD

Women in tech in Baltimore, Maryland face the second-smallest pay gap in the study, earning almost on par with their male counterparts – at 99 cents for every dollar that men make. The tech workforce in Baltimore is made up of 29.9% women, the 10th-largest overall, and they have the ninth-highest income – $63,203 after housing is deducted. Note, however, that the tech industry has grown only 15% in the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, placing Baltimore in the bottom half of the study for this metric.

4. Durham, NC

Durham, North Carolina is the home of Duke University and part of the famed Research Triangle. Tech women in Durham earn 91 cents for every dollar that their male co-workers make, the 11th-smallest pay gap in our study. The Durham tech industry has grown 30% in the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, the 12th-biggest increase overall for this metric. Women make up 28.6% of the city’s tech workforce, the 14th-largest in the study.

5. Chesapeake, VA

Chesapeake is located in southern Virginia. Women make up 37.4% of its tech workforce – the fourth-largest in our study. Women in this city make 91 cents for every dollar that their male tech peers get and have an income of $54,371 after housing. The Chesapeake tech industry has seen a 23% growth in the recent three-year period from 2016 to 2019.

6. Aurora, CO

Tech women in Aurora, Colorado get 97 cents for every dollar that men make, the third-smallest pay gap in our study. The tech industry in Aurora has grown 25% in three years, the 21st-biggest increase on our list. And women tech workers in this city earn $57,853 after housing, the 19th-biggest income across all 63 cities in the study.

7. Houston, TX

Women tech workers in Houston, Texas make 94 cents for every dollar that their male co-workers earn, the sixth-smallest pay gap in our study. The city’s tech workforce is made up of 27.2% women and has seen a 17% employment growth from 2016 to 2019. Women tech workers in Houston have an income of $61,016 after housing, the 13th-highest overall.

8. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, Ohio has the fourth-smallest gender pay gap in tech – our study shows that women earn 95 cents for every dollar that men get. Women in the Queen City make up 30.7% of the tech workforce, the seventh-largest for this metric overall. Their income after housing – at $48,886 – ranks in the bottom half of the study. But the industry itself has seen a 21% growth in employment the three-year period from 2016 to 2019.

9. Albuquerque, NM

Tech women in Albuquerque, New Mexico make about 95 cents for every dollar that their male co-workers earn, the fifth-smallest gender pay gap in our study. While women make up 30.6% of the city’s tech workforce, the eighth-largest in the study, Albuquerque’s tech industry has experienced relatively slow growth. It has seen only 13% growth from 2016 to 2019.

10. Jacksonville, FL

Women in Jacksonville, Florida make up 29.4% of the tech workforce, the 11th-largest in our study. For every dollar that men make, these Florida tech women earn 93 cents – the ninth-smallest gender pay gap overall. Jacksonville, however, finishes in the bottom half of this study with a slower tech industry growth of 17% from 2016 to 2019.

11. Long Beach, CA

Long Beach, California is the only city in the entire study where women in tech make more money than men. They reversed the gender pay gap by earning $1.01 for every dollar that men earn. The tech industry in this California city has seen steady three-year growth, ranking 14th out of 63 with a 27% increase from 2016 to 2019. Long Beach women make up 25.4% of the city’s tech workforce and have an income of $55,640 after housing.

12. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, California may not stand out as an obvious destination for tech workers, but women make up 37.8% of its tech workforce, the third-largest in our study. That said, pay equity isn’t as high, as women in the industry earn only 88 cents for every dollar that men make. The Sacramento tech workforce has grown 32% in the three years from 2016 to 2019, the ninth-highest increase across all 63 cities in the study. Women tech workers in the city have an income of $46,289 after housing.

13. Philadelphia, PA

Women in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania make up 28.5% of the city’s tech workforce, the 15th-largest rate for this metric in the study. Their income is $52,530 after housing, and they have the 13th-smallest pay gap overall, earning 91 cents for every dollar that their male peers make. The city’s tech workforce has seen a 23% increase in the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, ranking towards the middle of the study for this metric.

14. Chandler, AZ

While women in Chandler, Arizona make up 28.1% of the city’s tech workforce – the 18th-largest in the study – they rank towards the middle of the study for gender pay gap, earning 85 cents for every dollar that men make. Chandler’s tech industry has seen a 23% growth from 2016 to 2019. Women in the city have an income of $60,269 after housing.

15. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia rounds out the final place in our top 15. Tech employment has grown 33% over the three-year period from 2016 to 2019, the eighth-fastest in our study. Women in Atlanta tech earn 88 cents for every dollar that men make, placing it in about the top third of the study for that metric. Women in Atlanta make up 27.1% of the tech workforce and have an income of $52,594 after housing.

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