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Website Tracks Growing Number Of Bay Area Bars Banning Google Glass

by Bill Disbrow
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A sign outside The Willows bar at Folsom and 12th streets in San Francisco asks patrons to remove their Google Glass. (Margie Shafer/CBS)

A sign outside The Willows bar at Folsom and 12th streets in San Francisco asks patrons to remove their Google Glass. (Margie Shafer/CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A number of San Francisco bars say they don’t want to serve ‘Glassholes,’ the derogatory term for the folks who wear the exclusive new smart glasses from tech giant Google.

Earlier this week, a sign was posted asking glass wearers to stay out of the Willows bar in the city’s SoMa District.  Now, the website glasshole-free.org lists 12 San Francisco bars and 3 others in Oakland following suit. The San Francisco bars are clustered mostly in the Mission and South of Market districts.

The device, which combines many of the functions of a smartphone, has created privacy concerns, as people using Google Glass can record from the device without the knowledge of others.  It has also become a target of critics who said it symbolizes the “tech elite” and the industry’s negative effects on working class neighborhoods, especially in San Francisco.

Much of the controversy over the device stems from an incident last month at a bar in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood.  Social media consultant Sarah Slocum, who wore Google Glass inside Molotov’s, claimed she was attacked by patrons, who objected to her wearing the device inside the establishment.

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Others disputed Slocum’s version of events, and since the incident occurred, there has been a huge social media backlash against both Slocum and the device. The bar has now landed on the ban list.

Aware of the stigma now being associated with the device, Google has released a list of dos and don’ts for users of Google Glass and acknowledged the increasing use of a derogatory word for a person sporting the wearable computer.

Google said to avoid being called a glasshole, users should respect others and ‘don’t get snappy’ if people have questions about Glass or ask users to turn it off. “Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.”

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