A San Francisco-based journalist who was assaulted while wearing Google Glass has said he understands the motives behind the assailant.

Kyle Russell, a technology reporter for Business Insider, had the wearable device ripped from his face while walking in the Mission District of San Francisco shortly after a protest march in the area.

Tenant rights activists had gathered to protest the actions of Google employee Jack Halprin who had recently bought a property and evicted its tenants.

After reporting the assault on Twitter, Russell was met with a flood of angry tweets from people sympathetic with the attacker.

One of those who responded to Russell through social media was writer and activist @tarintowers who is one of the tenants facing eviction at the hands of Halprin.

Comparing the destruction of property to the gentrification that is forcing San Francisco residents from their home led Russell to reply "I can see why the person who smashed my Glass did what they did," in an article detailing the attack.

"I've started to understand where the people barraging me with angry tweets are coming from," Russell wrote. "People are being evicted or priced out of their homes. What's the difference between losing your home and having property destroyed?

"Unfortunately, anything associated with Google has come to represent gentrification in the city, from the buses that take young software engineers to their corporate campuses in Silicon Valley to Google Glass."

Although not excusing the actions of the attacker, Russell's sympathy and comments has given publicity to the impact that tech giants like Google are having on local communities.

"Something clearly needs to be done to address rising housing costs and gentrification in the city," Russell addded. "People on all sides are being forced from their homes and made to feel unsafe on the streets and on their commutes to and from work.

"The optimist in me believes that both sides can come together to build a city we can all be happy living in."