Back in the day, Google famously adopted the corporate motto, “Don’t be evil.” It hasn’t turned out so well.
The problem is that their motto didn’t define what constitutes evil, so it left an opening for narrow-minded zealots to commandeer company resources in a witch hunt against whatever they define as the forces of wickedness. That’s what has happened at Google, which has adopted a corporate culture of quasi-totalitarian ideological uniformity that it is now starting to impose on everyone who uses its services. Which is, let’s face it, pretty much everyone. For now.
Google’s internal culture has been laid bare by James Damore’s lawsuit alleging employment discrimination. The picture we get is a corporate culture of lockstep ideological uniformity, enforced by censorship, badgering, and blacklisting. Damore furnishes one note from a Google manager in 2015, addressed to “hostile voices.”
I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever.
I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.
You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google. You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.
Another manager proposed creating a “public-within-Google” document that “calls out those googlers who have made public statements that are unsupportive of diversity.” Other admit to maintaining their own blacklists based on “opinion[s] about religion, about politics, or about ‘social justice.’” While conservatives were regarded as “bad apples” to be excluded, other Googlers were recruiting or advocating for violent leftist “antifa” groups, with no apparent consequences. Then there’s this doozy:
Google’s internal company systems allowed employees and managers to maintain a ‘block list’ of other employees with whom they did not wish to interact. For example, if A adds B to her block list, B is not able to look A up in the company directory, communicate with A through the internal instant messaging system, view A’s contact information or management chain, or see A’s posts on internal social media. A and B would not be able to work together constructively on an engineering project if either person blocked the other.
Sounds like a great way to do business.
“Peer bonuses” that were supposed to reward Google employees for outstanding work performance were also used, with management approval, to reward them for arguing against heterodox political views, while something called “social pecking” was used—”unambiguously,” in the words of one Google vice-president—to gang up on dissenters. If you read through the whole complaint you see what this kind of “pecking” looks like, and it looks a lot like—well, it looks a lot like angry political Twitter, complete with people lobbing obscenities at each other over politics.
What company in its right mind would encourage its employees to treat each other this way? Well, maybe a company that is not in its right mind. An internal presentation urging sensitivity for employees who are “living as a plural being”—which seems to refer to some kind of multiple personality disorder—lists one of the forbidden thoughts: “assumptions that we’re mentally damaged.” This is literally an environment where the insane are welcome and the sane are not.
All of this is part of a wider trend in Silicon Valley toward enforcing political conformity. Commenting on this trend a few years back, when some people were trying to blacklist Silicon Valley Trump supporters like Palmer Luckey and Peter Thiel, I wrote: “The logical conclusion, when you think about it, is that every company should have a Chief Political Officer in charge of monitoring the ideological deviations of its employees.” We can now see that Google is going one better. It has a whole culture of co-workers informing on each other and referring dissidents for what the Damore lawsuit calls “crowdsourced harassment.” I call it the self-enforcing police state.
Google is a private company and can create its own little enclave of mandatory wokeness if it likes, Damore’s lawsuit notwithstanding. The problem is that Googlers are not content to keep this ideological policing within their own walls. We discovered recently that when Donald Trump complains about “fake news,” that makes him the very worst threat in the entire world to freedom of the press.
Hmmm…. kind of like the way racism works, huh?
di-VER-si-ty: noun. To crush, silence, destroy, intimidate and condemn any other viewpoint but your own. Popular among liberals. Example: Google exercises diversity.
If they contract and do work for the federal government, they should be being forced to comply with all civil rights rules and regulations.
How can something masquerade as something that does not exist?
The tighter they close their fist the less they can hold, already dumped Google for Duckduckgo, cool feature grades sites on privacy and tracking.
FA was upgraded from D to C, the connection is not secure and 1 tracker network was blocked.
Google, amazon and facebook are rated as top offenders.