Here's the List of Bars That Are Banning Google Glass (Update)

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Update: Creator of glasshole-free.org Daen de Leon explains what's up with the new "glasshole" website. Read at the bottom of this story.

Earlier this week, we incited readers with the news that a popular pub in SOMA, The Willows, made it official: no Google Glass-wearing patrons were allowed inside.

At least as long as they were donning the wearable computers.

It appears, other bars are following suit. According to glasshole-free.org., there's plenty of local watering holes that prohibit Google Glass "or otherwise restrict audio & video recording on their premises."

Here's the updated list as of lunchtime:

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We called the venues to confirm. Most said they either had a policy banning Google Glass or were working on one to restrict all types of recording devices. A few bars never picked up the phone (hangovers!).

A bartender at Lucky 13 told us that the wearable computers weren't allowed inside "because people prefer to have their privacy in here." He then hung up on us.

The 500 Club down in the Mission told us they recently posted a sign outside the bar forbidding Google Glass inside. Jeff Lucas, an employee at the bar, said they scrawled the new signage after the Molotov's incident where local techie, Sarah Slocum, claims she was attacked by patrons while showing of her Google Glass. "We want people to have a nice experience at the bar," Lucas says.

Update: Creator of www.glasshole-free.org Daen de Leon, a Molotov's regular and local software engineer, spoke to SF Weekly via e-mail, explaining the new purpose of the new site.

Here's what he had to say:

What Sarah Slocum demonstrated is that in the hands of the socially inept (or at the tail-end of a pub crawl) those semiotic signals flash and blink out of control, and that night they triggered defensive behavior in people who neither wanted to nor were asked if they could be recorded while they were in their cups, in their local bar. It is also worth bearing in mind that a significant number of Molotov's regulars are techies, anyway, so anyone casting this as some tech/anti-tech ground zero is on the wrong track. It's more about privacy/anti-privacy, really.

When Molotov's posted their ban on audio & video recording on the premises, followed by the Willows (and the Sycamore), whose owners I know, it just seemed natural to provide a website where people could check whether Google Glass was allowed or not. I don't want to engender some kind of technological apartheid, just provide people with some measure of assurance that there are places where they can let off steam without being surreptitiously recorded. I know that cellphones are quite as capable, but the point is it is harder to be stealthy with a hand-held piece of plastic and glass (and if you are
being stealthy with your cell phone, that's precisely as creepy as someone stealthily recording with their Google Glass, isn't it?)

I've reached out to a few bars & cafes myself to ask if they want to be included, while others are either run by or tended by friends of mine, and they've told me directly, or I've found reference through other websites to 'no Google Glass' policies or stories in the media. I'm happy for as many more to contact me as they want (or, alternatively, to tell me that they *do* allow Google Glass on the premises -- I haven't heard from any of them yet, though!)





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27 comments
Vinay Murthy
Vinay Murthy

please also ban e-mailing/texting from the bar. And require cell conversations to happen outside. And ban bad liquor (yes, PBR and Fernet included). Excellent environment -- no San Franciscans...

reverendj
reverendj

Saying this isn't anti tech doesn't make it so.  If this was really about Sara Slocum, Sara Slocum would be banned from the bar, not the doodad she happened to be using, and you'd be allowing the rest of us to continue to enjoy responsible use of that product respecting those around us without imposing a ban.


Next, being a techie, and being anti-tech are hardly mutually exclusive.  I know lots of Raspberry Pi owners who are resentful and hostile toward smartphones.  Perhaps this is just the first bit of technology to run against your aging sensibilities.


We really need to fast forward a few years, and stop having this conversation about a product that isn't even on store shelves yet.  What you're seeing out and about is a beta test.  Someday, and someday is very, very soon, you are not going to have any way to tell when someone's recording you.  Sure.  Maybe it would have been better had things not gone that way, but they did.  And what happens when tomorrow's Google glass is an ocular implant that allows the blind to see?  Are you going to expect the blind to pluck their eyes out when they come to your bar out of respect for your privacy, simply because that device is /also/ capable of recording?


Jeannie María
Jeannie María

I feel like google glass is some sort of conspiracy run by the govt to monitor people. Much like social media. I know, god forbid I have such a crazy thought.

Austin Cruz
Austin Cruz

What's next: smart phones? Bluetooth devices?

MattKS
MattKS

While it is easy to take a picture/video with Glass, it's also quite obvious that such an action is taking place, as it usually involves multiple taps on the touchpad or button on the device. In addition, the screen is active when filming, which people around you can readily see.


I know this point was made in the quote, however it really is just as easy to stealthily film people with a smartphone as well - most people have their phones out anyway in public areas, so it could potentially even be less obvious.


To go so far as to ban all Glass users from a particular establishment seems a little extreme, in my opinion, however full disclosure, yes, I am a Glass owner.


Regardless, Glass is a new, revolutionary technology that people are slowly getting used to interacting with, so this type of reaction is not surprising. I think an outright ban is the easiest, albeit not the best solution in this instance.



gussdolan
gussdolan

These are (mostly) the bars that Glass wearers would not normally go to, except when they're 'slumming it' around town. Good. Hope more bars, stores, restaurants, any public business, do the same.

Misty Gandee
Misty Gandee

Ppl like to relax, unless everybodies wearing them i can see how this would be annoying

Soyla Tejana
Soyla Tejana

Thanks lovely watering hole of mine, El Rio!

James Panda Lee
James Panda Lee

Hmm... banning all recording devices like cell phones?

Richard McKenna
Richard McKenna

How much is Google paying SF Weekly for all the promotion of their new product?

hyperboleman
hyperboleman

Hey, we're half-way there. Though if we're going to ban taste or preferences, we might as well just ban people NOT from San Francisco who are unhappy enough (or non-empathetic, uncaring, self-absorbed) with the city and its inhabitants to take a shit on both. I mean, it's funny that your sarcasm is just what polite, cognizant, socially adept people WOULD do. Except for the bad liquor part. That's just silly.

hyperboleman
hyperboleman

Please! I'll chip in for Google bus fare. Oh, wait. >_<

hyperboleman
hyperboleman

We don't ban the patron, just the device. Put it in your pocket. Enjoy your time not invading other people's privacy.

hyperboleman
hyperboleman

Except they think "slumming it" is "hip". You can recognize them by their tip of $1 on a 10 drink round... usually consisting of Bloodies, Martinis, Old Fashioneds, and/or anything they saw in a magazine that's really (for a bar) labor intensive and costly to the Average Joe. And they'll use a credit card. In a dive bar.

hyperboleman
hyperboleman

Like Yelp means anything other than entertainment...

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