Google cancels staff meeting over fears of online harassment

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Amid anti-diversity memo row Google CEO Sundar Pichai sends out clear message to women

The ongoing lack of diversity in the entire tech sector is an issue that has grown an even bigger head of steam in recent months, with a steady stream of stories about big firms and big names being held to account.

In an email to the New York Times, Google software engineer James Damore wrote that he had been fired because of the manifesto, which he claimed he had written with the aim of nurturing an honest discussion on the company's diversity policies.

On Thursday, the highest-ranking question on Dory, a system for Google staff to vote on questions, was from an employee who was anxious they would be harassed or threatened if their opinion was leaked to outsiders.

The writer of the memo was identified to be James Damore.

Another question asked how to combat Damore's assertion that Google has a lower bar for diversity candidates.

Pichai earlier said parts of the 3,300-word manifesto crossed the line by "advancing harmful gender stereotypes" 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.

WIRED actually got ahold of some of the questions submitted to Dory and they ranged from addressing the skewed perception of minority employees to the fear that conservative Googlers feel, which prevents them from expressing their views. 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.

At the company-wide town hall meeting, executives planned to field employees' questions.

In what we can only assume is great news for AltaVista and Ask Jeeves, anti-diversity advocates and the "PC culture-gone crazy" crowd have declared war on Google, attempting to organize a march on several of its business headquarters in the USA, scheduled to take place next week. "Looking at who works for Google, it all makes sense now." the caption read. When we reached out to Google for comment, they directed us to the Recode article.

Inside Google, the memo and its fallout represent perhaps the biggest setback to what has been a foundational premise for employees: the freedom to speak up about anything and everything.

"I am a moderately conservative Googler", wrote one employee, "and I am and have been scared to share my beliefs".

"We are going to raise awareness about Google's one-sided bias and campaign against dissenting opinions and voices", Posobiec told the media on Thursday.

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