#Googlegate: The Latest Social Justice Outrage in Tech

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 August 8, 2017|
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A new martyr for free speech has been born, and his name is James Damore. Damore’s offense is that recently he authored an internal memo at his workplace—Google—that appears, more or less, to have triggered the entire staff. His argument, essentially, is there might be more to “gender gaps” than pure sexist oppression, and he thinks it might be worthwhile to treat differences of opinion as a form of diversity worth protecting.

The horror! The horror! Google officials initially weighed in to say, while they obviously are in favor of the expression of “alternate viewpoints,” such expression “needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.

A few short days later, that bit of principle was flushed down the toilet, and Damore was fired, with no less an entity than Google’s CEO condemning his memo for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

This decision appears to have come after an outcry led by Google’s top SJWs: a freakout we can now observe thanks to leaked excerpts from internal discussions by Google employees critical of the memo, including figures such as Site Reliability Manager Paul Cowan, Software Engineer Sitaram Iyer, Systems Engineering Manager Colm Buckley, and even Engineering Director Dave O’Connor. And as far as the content of this backlash, perhaps the most representative quote comes from Buckley, who writes, “You know, there are certain ‘alternative views, including different political views’ which I do not want people to feel safe to share here. My tolerance ends at my friends’ terror.[…] Yes, this is ‘silencing.’ I intend to silence these views; they are violently offensive.” (emphasis Buckley’s) O’Connor concurs, writing, “These are s—ty opinions. I say this with all my hats on; ally, director, manager, human. They are the antithesis of what we’re trying to do at Google; they are intellectually lazy, biased, and unkind. They have no place here.”

And that’s just within the company. The response from Leftists on the outside has been even more extreme. Take, for example, this reaction from Yonatan Zunger, a former senior engineer at Google, who accused the author of the piece of “creating a hostile work environment,” and of holding views that “are fundamentally corrosive to any organization they show up in,” and which openly fantasizes at the end about being able to fire the (thus far) anonymous author. Or, consider the infuriated response by former Gawker satellite Gizmodo, which calls the document a “screed” which “argues that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women.” Or, look at any one of thousands of Tweets accusing the author of the piece of being the beneficiary of “white privilege,” or of being a “boy” rather than a man, or of writing “entry-level Reddit MRA board intellectually vapid bulls—t.”

Of these, the Gizmodo attack is probably the most hilarious for a very simple reason: right after smearing the document, it prints it in full. I suppose Gizmodo expects its readers to be too dumb to actually read the thing and check whether the descriptions flying about it are accurate.

Spoiler alert: they are not. For example, here’s what the document says about innate gender differences (emphasis mine).

The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.

Got that? “May explain.” In other words, the document simply calls for considering the possibility as a check against making faulty assumptions. In fact, later on, Damore says this is a major problem with gender roles:

Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

And even later, this:

I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

So let’s review. Damore argued that while biology may play a role in why women don’t seek certain positions, it is also true that sexist gender assumptions exist and, moreover, go both ways, since men are disallowed from being overly “feminine.” Furthermore, he cautions against using any of this as a metric to judge individuals, because that might lead to tribalism and bias.

And apparently, in the eyes of Google employees, both former and current, this was a reactionary document that created an irrevocably hostile work environment and violated Google’s in-house policies simply by existing. This is a document that is supposed to cause “terror” to women and minorities, and which deserves to be suppressed for being “violently offensive.” And, of course, the document is a firing offense. The lesson is obvious: this kind of public shaming and intimidation is what Google does to employees of their own company not for being extreme conservatives (the document openly applauds the fact that scientists don’t lean Right), but for being centrist individualists. That is how far Left the corporate culture at Google is.

The fact is that every day, Google looks more and more determined to subjugate all of us under the same rules used by its HR department and backbiting social justice-obsessed corporate culture. 

This is not just about one company’s insanity. Every conservative, libertarian, centrist, or even moderately liberal consumer should read this with the implicit understanding that this kind of Maoist attitude will be brought to bear on them. If expressing these views is enough to get you treated as a pariah at Google, imagine what ideas further to the Right will be treated like by people designing Google’s search algorithms. Or by their increasingly censorship-happy YouTube team. Unfortunately, we don’t have to ask. The answer also arrived last week, in the form of Google’s brief ban of Christian psychologist Jordan Peterson not only from YouTube, but from his own gmail account.  Public outcry on behalf of Peterson’s many fans saved him, but imagine what will happen to less famous people who have the audacity to share similar opinions. The fact is that every day, Google looks more and more determined to subjugate all of us under the same rules used by its HR department and backbiting social justice-obsessed corporate culture. So much for the company that once fought Chinese censorship of the internet: apparently the only problem there was that Google wasn’t making the rules about what to censor.

So in a sense, Mr. O’Connor is correct: these opinions are “the antithesis of what we’re trying to do at Google.” And what people like Mr. O’Connor are trying to do, is the very thing consumers must stop.

Fortunately, there are mechanisms by which it can be stopped. A similar airing of dirty laundry led to #Gamergate, arguably the most successful consumer revolt in recent memory. Something similar is already beginning to come down the pike toward Google, and it will likely only grow stronger . Speaking for myself, I can suggest a name for this new movement: #Googlegate.

 

About the Author:

Mytheos Holt
Mytheos Holt is a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty. He has held positions at the R Street Institute, Mair Strategies, TheBlaze, and National Review. He also worked as a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, and reviews video games at Gamesided. He hails originally from Big Sur, California, but currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. Yes, Mytheos is his real name.
  • Cybergeezer

    No freedom of expression for any Google minions!

    • Andy

      They have full freedom of expression, it’s not like anyone is going to jail over this. Perhaps you don’t understand what the first amendment actually guarantees.

      • PolJunkie47

        Perhaps you don’t understand that no google employee will feel free to express an opinion contrary to the Progressive’s ever expanding list of good think.

        • Cybergeezer

          “Approved and sanctioned” expression.

          • Liberalism Has Failed

            Approved and Sanctioned by the Google Politburo, which was based on the one in Pyongyang!!

  • DMalcolmCarson

    It’s time to break up Google and/or regulate it as public utility.

    • Kathryncbarfield

      Alpha306s

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !pa397:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !pa397:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash397GroupWay/GetPay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!pa397..,..

    • Andy

      Regulate?!? Okay liberal.

      • PolJunkie47

        Not all regulation is bad. Not all liberals are bad. It’s Progressives that are the fascists that want to treat speech as a hate crime. Classical liberals do not. They actually have more in common with conservatives than you may think.

        • Marshall Gill

          The thing is, other than word usage, liberals today are anything but classical liberals. They are coercive Leftists of one sort or another. Government coercion is their only principle. The invention of the term transectionality is proof of this. They don’t care the reason as long as government makes everyone do it. They very often are blind to this part of themselves but challenge a few to convince instead of coerce and see how quickly they tire with the pretense of anything but force.

    • Alexandros Nortune

      When Google has total access to all your communications, store everything you write for 5 years or more, can apparently lock your account and prevent you from accessing your own critical data and work correspondence. They’re not a corporation in any normal sense anymore, they’re a quasi governmental entity.

      Exactly the sort of crap cyber punk warned about in dystopian fiction. And of course there’s not much recourse. All of the large tech Giants are clustered in a small area and share the same hothouse leftwing Bay area political culture.

    • Tom Burroughes

      I am not sure but sympathise with your thinking to an extent. But there are alternatives to Google; I think that we may have just seen its dominance reach a barrier and alternative search engine firms begin to take market share. Twitter has been losing money/users for this sort of nonsense, and if Google becomes more and more of a bully, so it will suffer the same fate. Google should be focusing 100 per cent on building value and customer service; if it becomes fixated with politically correct garbage and all the rest of it, its future is at risk. I wonder what some shareholders have to say about it.

  • The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond https://archive.is/VlNfl

    • Andy

      3 out of the 4 are white guys. Their thoughts on diversity must be important.

      • CruisingTroll

        ad hominem alba

    • Liberalism Has Failed

      Unlike Andy, I actually read the article. It was worth it!!

  • Liberalism Has Failed

    Remember “The Borg” from Star Trek: The Next Generation? Liberals & Progressives have a similar mindset as them….
    ANY dissenting voices (especially from their own side!) will be met with a resounding “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!”
    The Utopian Progressive Agenda is all-conquering, just like it’s cousin, Fundamentalist Islam.
    It’s sad that Mr. Damore will be destroyed after filing his lawsuit against Google….
    In that part of California, Karl Marx is more respected than John Adams!
    When it’s all done, James Damore will be declared guilty.
    Google is Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ from “1984”!!

    • Andy

      James Damore will soon find employment as a “technology expert” on Fox News and/or Breitbart and/or InfoWars. Save your tears!

      • Liberalism Has Failed

        FOX News is in the process of morphing into another CNN/MSNBC I’m afraid….
        Besides, he’s a MAN and all of them are being driven out!!

    • PolJunkie47

      “Assimilate or die” – The Borg

      • Liberalism Has Failed

        Which is pretty much what you get if you are Pro-Life (Anti-Abortion), A Christian (Anti-Gay Marriage) or….
        You don’t believe MAN is the sole reason for any possible “Climate Change” that may be occurring.

        As far as they’re concerned, we’re ‘heretics’, ‘blasphemers’ and ‘infidels’ who need to be punished!!

  • Elmer Jones

    Here is the whole controversy in a handy info-graphic:

    https://employmentgame.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/googgender.jpg

  • Cybergeezer

    Unbelievable Google administration reasoning and presumption!
    Google better employ it’s best artificial intelligence, QUICK, before these dolts debilitate it beyond redemption.

  • Insufficiently Sensitive

    Of these, the Gizmodo attack is probably the most hilarious for a very simple reason: right after smearing the document, it prints it in full.

    Actually, it doesn’t. It deleted all of Damore’s original hyperlinks and charts, and removed nearly all of the supporting evidence for his assertions.

  • reasonFirst

    It appears that Google’s HR dept also has a hand in search results. Imagine what you’d expect to see for an image search on “American computer science” and look at what you actually get: https://www.google.com/search?q=american+computer+science&site=webhp&prmd=nimv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5083ivcrVAhXBPxQKHSjeCGsQ_AUIEigC&biw=1366&bih=928&dpr=2

  • hamburgertoday2017

    First step, if you use Google for your default search engine, stop. A frequently-recommended replacement is DuckDuckGo.

    • NoDonkey

      Just deleted Google thanks

  • 3rdjerseyman

    The best part is that they don’t even comprehend that they are making fools of themselves. It is beyond parody. Fortunately, they have money, but do not, yet, control the guns. Along the way, is there any chance anyone is considering whether or not what the 28 year old Phd. is saying is true or not? Remember that Larry Summers was driven from the presidency of Harvard for similar ruminations on gender differences.