Google cancels diversity meeting due to fears of right-wing harassment

  • Google cancels diversity meeting due to fears of right-wing harassment

Google cancels diversity meeting due to fears of right-wing harassment

Google's crisis over the anti-diversity memo that started circulating internally last week just got worse on Thursday.

A white male reporter told a recently fired Google engineer that white men simply aren't "biologically suited to writing memos about diversity".

In a memo to employees on Thursday afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he canceled the meeting after questions to be asked at the meeting were posted online, raising concerns that employees identified in the leak would be harassed.

Over the past two days, I have had the chance to meet with so many people here, and I have read each of your emails carefully. That provision was used as the basis for firing Mr. Damore who later revealed he's considering suing his former employer, though it's now unclear how likely is he to go through with that decision. Instead of today's large-scale meeting, which was to be livestreamed to Google's 60,000 employees worldwide, smaller groups will meet sometime in the future. And Google has also been sued for its salary records by the U.S. Department of Labor, which has alleged that Google doesn't pay female employees fairly.

The all-hands town hall meeting was scheduled for 4 Google's headquarters in California.

Damore, who criticized in his memo "Google's left bias" and "ideological echo chamber", has since become a hero to some on the far right, who have attacked what they characterize as politically correct groupthink in Silicon Valley.

Previously Google CEO Sundar Pichai had said that Damore's screed violated Google's code of conduct and talked about harmful stereotypes about gender in the workplace.

Google must now grapple with possible lawsuits; a fired employee who's fast becoming a public figure; an ongoing debate over the limits of free speech; a surge of employees leaking information; and a struggle to protect employees as it becomes the latest villain for the alt-right.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism", Mr Damore wrote in his note, which was widely criticised. Conservative commentators such as former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos - critical of Google's diversity efforts - have also circulated a graphic singling out several Google employees who are gay, lesbian or transgender. When we reached out to Google for comment, they directed us to the Recode article.

Damore said in the Bloomberg interview he was "hurt" by the firing.

"I am a moderately conservative Googler", one employee wrote, "and I am and have been scared to share my beliefs". The loud voice here is a liberal one. "What is leadership doing to ensure Googlers like me feel invited and accepted, not just tolerated or safe from angry mobs?"