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Actor on HBO's popular 'Silicon Valley' show pointed out a disturbing problem in tech

  • "Tech has the capacity to destroy us," actor Kumail Nanjiani tweeted this week.
  • Representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google were grilled this week by congressional committees about social media's role in promoting Russian propaganda during the 2016 election.
  • Nanjiani plays the character Dinesh on HBO's "Silicon Valley."
Kumail Nanjiani, T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods and Martin Starr featured in Silicon Valley an HBO original
John P. Johnson | HBO
Kumail Nanjiani, T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods and Martin Starr featured in Silicon Valley an HBO original

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani plays the character Dinesh on HBO's "Silicon Valley," a tongue-in-cheek satire about a scrappy start-up, Pied Piper, taking on a technology giant, Hooli.

But Nanjiani's real-life view of major technology companies is much darker, based on messages he tweeted this week. Nanjiani doesn't just play an engineer on television: He was a computer science major at Grinnell College.

Nanjiani made his remarks during an important week for major technology companies. Representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google were grilled this week by congressional committees about social media's role in promoting Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. And Facebook and Apple both report quarterly earnings this week, highlighting the huge profits gleaned by real-life Silicon Valley.

Tech's reckoning is a theme that has already been foreshadowed on "Silicon Valley," too, when the character that runs the fictional technology giant is questioned in a scene by real-life technology journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.

"I'm getting a little tired of this bias against the leaders of our industry," the CEO character says in an ill-received salvo. "I'm continually creating jobs and helping people, and I'm tired of getting slapped for it."