Eyewitness account from Molotov’s conflicts with Google Glass Explorer’s story

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A Google Glass "Explorer" and social media consultant from San Mateo made international headlines after visiting San Francisco for being “verbally and physically assaulted ... because of some Google Glass haters,” she wrote on Facebook.

But her official account of the incident as reported to police conflicts with an eyewitness account from someone who saw the fight unfold.

On Feb. 22, Sarah Slocum went with some friends to Molotov’s, a punk bar in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood. It was sometime around last call. The patrons did not take kindly to the idea that she was donning Google Glass, and thus possibly recording them, inside the bar.

Google Glass is a hands-free device that connects users to the Internet via a tiny screen that floats in front of the wearer’s eye. It’s capable of streaming live video. Those testing it out are called "Explorers," and Google specifically directs its Explorers to "ask permission before taking photos or videos of others."

According to Albie Esparza, San Francisco Police Department spokesperson, Slocum reported that she was “engaged in a verbal altercation with three suspects,” because they “believed she was videotaping without their consent.”

During that confrontation, “one of the suspects grabbed the Google Glass off her face,” Esparza said, “and she ran out of the bar in pursuit. She retrieved the Google Glass,” Esparza said, but when she returned to the interior of the bar, she discovered that her purse and cell phone had gone missing.

Esparza said there is an open investigation, but no charges have been filed.

In a video Slocum released to KRON 4, a woman can be heard telling Slocum that she, as a techie, is “ruining the city.”

According to a source who did not want to be named, that woman was a bartender at Molotov’s who was not working that night, but has been fired in the days since this incident blew up in the news. When reached by phone, a staff member at Molotov’s said he was not authorized to comment on that.


According to a bar patron who was there that night, the situation didn’t really get out of hand until Slocum’s male companion threw a punch at one of the individuals who had been asking Slocum to stop recording.

Bryan Lester, who was outside the bar with a friend who was unlocking his bike when Slocum emerged from Molotov’s onto the sidewalk, said Slocum was still wearing her Google Glass when she exited the bar.

“I had seen her in the back when I had gotten a drink,” said Lester, who said he was hanging out near the pinball machines in the front of the bar that night.

“She was with a group of friends and ... they seemed to be attracting a little bit of attention, but nothing serious, before last call.”

On the sidewalk outside Molotov’s, Lester said, “I believe that some words were exchanged ... and then I saw the man protecting her throw a punch at the other gentleman and push him into a car and took a couple swings at him on the hood of the car.”

According to a different source who also saw things unfold from the street, “He did grab it from off her face but he told her to stop recording him and then he handed it back to her.” After that, “her boyfriend came, socked him in the face, then the fight broke out and the bouncer stopped it.”

Lester said the scuffle on the hood of the car lasted “about 30 seconds.” After that, “they were separated and the fight was over.”

Based on all accounts, it seems Slocum did have her purse and cell phone robbed. Which totally sucks.

We sought an interview with Slocum for this story, but were unable to make contact.

Mainstream media outlets have sensationalized this bar fight, because it plays so perfectly into the narrative that techies are somehow unsafe in San Francisco due to widespread anger over tech’s presence in gentrifying neighborhoods.

A tension certainly exists, because long-term residents are getting evicted and displaced at higher rates than ever before in the face of soaring rents. At the same time, it should be obvious to anyone that entering a punk bar at last call wearing Google Glass is going to ruffle some feathers. Combine this with alcohol, and the fact that a fight broke out isn’t terribly surprising.

There’s another issue here that few seem to be questioning. Isn’t there a privacy concern that arises when patrons go into bars wearing devices that can record live video and instantly stream it? I wondered about this the time I tried on Glass. (By the way, Glass can run facial recognition software.)

Instead of having an in-depth discussion about privacy, unfortunately, the controversy around this bar fight remains mired in some nonsense about whether the incident should be considered a “hate crime.”

“What makes this story special,” Slocum wrote on her Facebook page, “is that no one has experienced a hate crime or been targeted for a hate crime, which is what it was, for wearing Google Glass.”

But it's not. The phrase “hate crime” has a very specific definition, as determined by Congress. Unless a victim has been targeted out of a bias against his or her race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation, it’s factually inaccurate to characterize any incident as a “hate crime.”

This could get even uglier. Already on Twitter, one of Slocum's supporters has called for Glass wearers to congregate at Molotov's in support of Slocum. And just wait and see what happens when people start wearing Lambda hats.

Logan Hesse contributed to this report.

Comments

Which she's no-doubt learned from years of living in SF. Everyone loves being the victim here even if it's a pretend-victim. Yeah Max Bell Alper, the fake-Google-employee, I'm talking to you.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

She doesn't even live in SF.

Posted by Xon on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

Neither does he.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

I took the liberty of deleting the previous comment because it used the word "whore" to refer to a woman in a derogatory way. In the past I have also deleted comments that contained racial slurs. You are free to comment but don't use that language or it will be deleted again.

Posted by rebecca on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

writing and lack of research - so quit making it seem like you're a one-woman truth squad here Rebecca. In the long tradition of overly-sensitive Guardian writers you're just doing what comes natural - censoring.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

Does this mean you're condoning racial and sexist slurs?

That's horrible. Shame on you.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:27 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

And posting at the bay Guardian?

Posted by guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

I don't care.

The Guardian can do whatever it wants, its their paper.

Why I find interesting is that the word is in pretty common use for all sexes, classes and demographics.

You can find people in every sector of society calling someone an attention "-----" I doubt that more than 1% of the population would even worry about it. It just takes the over education to hunt these things out. It's not like you have to be a member of a special group to say it. I know actual "-----'-" who are fine with people calling them that. I've worked with and for actual "-----'-" doing their taxes and other financial type things. I even had some meetings with some "-----'-" about starting a business.

This paper has articles about "-----'-" and takes advertising from "-----'-" and now is all PC about it? There is even a magazine called "-----" that "-----'-" don't read but is made for people that are hip and cutting edge like Bay Guardian types.

Posted by guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:41 pm
har

I used to work in the business end of the adult industry some, with mostly women, the industry you and your magazine try and latch onto vicariously trying to be pathetically cutting edge, it was used by the actual purveyors. It's a pretty common and varied word. I used to see copies of a magazine called that laying around even. Attention whatnot is a pretty commonly used set of words directed towards people of all sexes. As in David Campos is an attention flower.

Ah well, thanks for the laugh. Just as fashion never takes a holiday neither does studied womens studies PC outrage.

Posted by guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

Let's get one thing clear: there is a lot of emphasis in definition.
From the perspective of any asset's manufacturer, it might be performing in the
most optimum manner, though littlest is known on its efficiency when it comes to energy consumption notwithstanding the already unacceptable carbon emissions levels.
The lure of secluded island living in aprivate paradise will present design challenges during the building processthat need sustainable solutions.

Posted by Humberto on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 10:46 am

I'll also point out this is where Peskin & Mirkarimi got pushed around, so good judgement their on who has screwed this city.

Posted by Chris on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

I'm a punk and this has been our bar for over 15 years soo... F.O.A.D. !
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QxtX1IU952c

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

Slow news week? Is Steven on vacation in Cuba?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

He brought his own toilet paper and organic foods though - it's nice to get close to The People but not TOO close.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

you will give that paper a pass, right?

Posted by Guest III on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

Molotov's is not a "punk" bar, stop repeating stupid shit you moron

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

and I live a block away. Where do you live?

Posted by admin on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

Oak and Divisadero.

So fuck you.

And it's not a punk bar . sure they play it but punk has been dead for a long time as a scene and a movement. Molotov's is a great bar and it's one of my favorites and I've never had a bad time there, but saying "punk bar" is buying into the mainstream's bullshit that has mis-reported this story and sucked off some Google paid PR hack who clearly is reveling in the attention and the mainstream is using to demonize those who are pointing out the collateral damage the tech folks are doing.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

and yes "punk bar" is a bit stilted and generalizing in a stale way -- but I'm actually kind of enjoyng seeing "punk" resurrected in the service of something actually pretty punk for once. 

Posted by admin on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 8:18 am

I'm a punk and that's been our bar for over 15 years so you better believe its a punk bar. That's all our music in the juke box.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QxtX1IU952c

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 12:49 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

Ummm yes it is... You might not be welcome there any more either? Who are you?
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QxtX1IU952c

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

>"According to a bar patron who was there that night, the situation didn’t really get out of hand until Slocum’s male companion threw a punch at one of the individuals who had been asking Slocum to stop recording."

Um, no. He hadn't just been asking, he had just grabbed the glasses off her face. So a man in a bar grabbed something off of a woman's face and therefore got punched by her boyfriend. An honest reporter would have known and noted that.

But of course, Rebecca and the SFBG want to pick up the narrative after the face grab to make the boyfriend sound like the aggressor.

Then of course there is the standard SFBG plaintive "they didn't return our calls".

Here's a news flash -- people don't return your calls because you are not honest journalists who are willing to tell both sides of the story. There isn't a story posted here that doesn't reek with bias by the first paragraph.Deal with it.

.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

...sounds like the beginning of a joke, but in this case the punch line (no pun intended) is utterly predictable. People don't like to be recorded. This is pretty basic stuff, but this woman epitomizes the cluelessness of the techno-douche crowd. On the local news video she says that people "were trying to shield themselves as if I was recording them... and it wasn't even on, and they clearly don't understand how it works..." Keep in mind, she's saying this, as the google glass video is playing and you can SEE all the bar's patron's shielding themselves, meaning that obviously she WAS recording them! Wow. Talk about shit for brains! Looks like THEY understand EXACTLY how it works!

The rest of her story is just as false. It wasn't just "a couple ladies." It was just about everyone in the bar who she came in contact with. And the couple ladies in question didn't seem like they were showing any animosity at all, at least not until after this clueless twit refused several POLITE requests to turn the camera off (the lady was clearly smiling when she asked the first time).

Finally when this shit-for-brains self-styled "social media consultant" repeatedly violated basic social norms, someone took it upon themselves to take the damn thing and turn it off for her, before GIVING IT BACK. He showed remarkable restraint by not hurling it against the wall. And then the douchebag boyfriend decides to throw a punch at him!

The Guardian reporter did a better job than the news outlet. I would like to know why the other lady was fired. She did nothing wrong. Maybe the Guardian should've asked the owner of the bar why they fired someone for asking another patron to observe basic social norms.

But at least the SFBG told the story exactly as it was corroborated in the video; whereas the worthless local news show didn't bother to question her as she was flat out lying even as her own video was showing her lie. Nor did they bother to interview anyone but her, making her seem like the wronged party.

She got what she deserved, and the boyfriend should be in jail for assault and battery. Google glass my ass!

Posted by Greg on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

>>>On the local news video she says that people "were trying to shield themselves as if I was recording them... and it wasn't even on, and they clearly don't understand how it works..." <<<

She's a liar. It was ON. Here's her video of it that she uploaded to UTube on 02.23.14:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvTrx-i_nB4

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

All you have to do is watch the video in the article, which runs *her* video as she simultaneously lies about it! Not just a liar, but a clueless liar.

And probably a sociopath. Not to get all psychoanalytical, but she exhibits -no, flaunts -not one, but *three* traits common to sociopaths

-complete lack of empathy with others, as seen by the fact that she's totally unfazed by violating basic social norms
-self-centered to the extreme. A whole bar full of people is recoiling at her behavior, and she's not just unfazed but defends what she views as her god-given right to continue.
-pathological lying. She not only lies, but she sounds convinced that her lies are true. This is the kind of person who could probably pass a lie detector test, even though her lies are blatant and obvious (caught on her own video which she gladly presents!!!), because the nervous system of a sociopath responds differently to lies.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

"Well yeah, that's what I said."

I only got part the way into the video in the article---I didn't get as far as her video---and then my system froze and I had to reboot, and then I forgot to go back to it after all that.

Her behavior also reminds me of what I've read about some of the techies in that they live under the illusion that they are "smarter than anyone else" and "doing the world a great service." (Where exactly does their pompous arrogance/giant head come from?)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

>"they live under the illusion that they are "smarter than anyone else" and "doing the world a great service." (Where exactly does their pompous arrogance/giant head come from?)"

I have no idea where it comes from. Apparently they think they do a great thing by working on the internet.

But you know what? I've never used the internet and never will, Sounds like just a big waste of time to me.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

I save lives. That still doesn't entitle me to act like a jackass.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

Thank you for that.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:17 am

"Apparently they think they do a great thing by working on the internet."

That's a myth. Especially when they're not necessarily working on the internet, per se, at all.

Google Employees Confess The Worst Things About Working At Google
Nov. 3, 2013

"The culture is immature.
"It's like never-never land - people never grow up. They drink at all hours, socialize constantly, play games, and do little to no work."

http://www.businessinsider.com/google-employees-confess-the-worst-things...

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:15 am

That explains a lot. They sound like spoiled children who never grew up.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:45 am

They drink at all hours, socialize constantly, play games, and do little to no work."

Sounds like a typical day for a MUNI employee :)

Posted by Pol Potty-Mouth on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 1:05 am

The only MUNI employees I ever see are doing something, like driving a bus. If MUNI employees were caught drinking or playing games while they should be driving the bus, they'd be fired.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 8:04 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 8:21 am

sounds like Apple in the early 1990s

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

You do realize that you just used the internet to post your comment, right?

Posted by Snoozers on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 1:01 am

If you drive a car you are FORBIDDEN from criticizing anyone who delvers asphalt or paints yellow lines.
Go get em you rocket scientist, you!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 1:19 am

Progressive posts the following... "I've never used the internet and never will, Sounds like just a big waste of time to me."

He USED THE INTERNET to post that comment! So, yeah, compared to you I'm freakin' Oppenheimer.

Posted by Snoozers on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

Your insipid comment is astutely addressed in this video:

Smartphone Addiction: The Epidemic Grows
https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hp7HDgxno9g

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 1:46 am

OMG, Guest, I think I love you! I have never used the Internet either!!

I might be the only non-user of the Internet who isn't satire-blind! Will you marry me?

Posted by I'm A Guest Too! on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

Please Marry Me, Your Psychic Powers To Use The Internet Without Using It Amaze Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 1:06 am

I've never used the internet and never will,

Then HOW are you replying ON the Internet? Or weren't you aware that email is sent over the INTERNET???

Posted by Mick on Mar. 06, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

How did you post a comment here without using the internet?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

Too bad somebody didn't snap those glasses right in half and hand them back to that clueless wonder.

"The Guardian reporter did a better job than the news outlet. I would like to know why the other lady was fired. She did nothing wrong. Maybe the Guardian should've asked the owner of the bar why they fired someone for asking another patron to observe basic social norms."

I agree. The bar employee should not have been fired for telling the truth. Tech is ruining this city and very quickly so. She should get her job back. I guess The First Amendment means nothing at this bar either, even when you're "off duty."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

Yeah Greg. And the problem with asking the bartender to tell her to take off the glasses was...............?

Enlighten us please. Because the concept of taking matters into their own hands seems like it could have unintended consequences. As it did.

So you ask the management at the bar to talk to her. If they don't then your problem is with the bar, not with her. You're not the sheriff in every bar that you walk into.

And guess what...you grab something off of the face of a woman in a bar and you get punched by her boyfriend. Try it sometime if you don't believe me.

The woman with the glasses was way out of line, just about everyone agrees on that. But the 'herd' mentality of the anti techies tends to confirm my impression that they aren't a very sophisticated bunch.

I felt the same way when they had a chance to engage the techies at the spiritual meeting but they 'invaded' instead.

Children playing games.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

Oh please! Bartenders can't be bothered with asking people to take off something or put on something. Bartenders are too busy tending the bar. They don't have the time to deal with that shit. And good luck finding "a manager." Nobody has that much time! By that time she would have recorded reams to upload to UTube to give herself the attention she craves, needs and requires.
Needy-assed twit.

"Enlighten us please."

Why? You've never cared to be enlightened before. Why should anyone waste their time now?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

OK, thanks.

So, just to be clear, any bar I walk into I can personally enforce any norm that I wish.

If the person doesn't do as I ask I can resort to physical force against them.

Do you have any idea how stupid you sound?

There was a bartender, there was a bouncer....but you prefer the rule of the schoolyard.

Child.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

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