Google Tries to Corral Its Staff After Ugly Internal Debates

Google also said on Friday that it was hiring a team dedicated to moderating employee discussions on internal forums. When an employee breaks the company’s policies for workplace discourse, the team may remind those employees about the rules. The team can also “take other actions as appropriate in response to significant or repeated policy violations,” Google said on Friday.

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The public got its first view of the internal rancor at Google after the leak of an employee’s memo that suggested women were less biologically suited to be engineers than men. The memo provoked an internal firestorm, and Google fired the engineer who wrote it, setting off political backlash from conservatives and fueling more news coverage.

That incident prompted Google to update its workplace rules to order employees to keep Google “a safe, productive, and inclusive environment for everyone.” The company explicitly banned “trolling, name calling, and ad hominem attacks.”

Months later, activists inside Google discovered their power when they successfully pushed executives to change the company’s sexual-misconduct policies and halt work on projects such as artificial intelligence developed for the military.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/technology/google-culture-rules.html