How long will it be before Google begins to impose its ideological dictates on its users as well as its employees, and what precisely would stop them from doing so?
And Google employees typically have a lot to say.
That openness has gone hand-in-hand with the expectation that what was said at Google would stay within Google. It quickly spilled over into an all-out culture war outside the company, putting Google and its employees in the crosshairs.
His views are crucial at a time when an anti-diversity manifesto, written by a Google software engineer James Damore, which claimed that "the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes". Google said he had crossed the line "by advancing harmful gender stereotypes" and many employees were upset about the views outlined in the memo. He held a sign reading, "Fired for Telling the Truth". Damore said he shared the missive, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", about a month ago with specific individuals and groups focused on diversity before posting it to a mailing list called "skeptics" on August 2.
Damore asserted in his 3,000-word document that circulated inside the company last week that "Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture" which prevented honest discussion of diversity. Take a look at a couple more banners below.
He was sacked on Monday, and the situation quickly escalated.
The Google engineer who was sacked after his critique of the company's diversity policy was made public compared his former workplace to a "cult".
"Google is not alone in Silicon Valley", Finberg said.
On Facebook, conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos posted the Twitter biographies of eight Google employees who had criticised Damore.
My objective here instead is to relate another Google bias-claims-and-employee-privacy story from last month, which would have counted as fairly significant news in its own right had it not soon been eclipsed by the memo episode.
"Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall", Pichai wrote. A half-hour before the event was expected to begin, Pichai sent an email canceling the meeting.
"In recognition of Googlers" concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion'.
Following Damore's memo, some "minority Googlers" were hurt by the "perception they are less qualified", according to one question posted to the company's internal message boards for the all-hands meeting. Screenshots of the questions with names attached had been leaked, although none with names had been published as of late Thursday, a Google spokeswoman said.
Over 60 former and current Google employees are reportedly considering bringing a class action lawsuit against the tech giant, over alleged workplace discrimination.