News

Google doesn’t want staff debating politics at work anymore

Google doesn’t want staff debating politics at work anymore
Business
NEW YORK—Alphabet Inc.’s Google posted internal rules that discourage employees from debating politics, a shift away from the internet giant’s famously open culture.

The “community guidelines” tell employees not to have “disruptive” conversations and warn workers that they’ll be held responsible for what they say at the office. Google is also building a tool to let employees flag problematic internal posts and creating a team of moderators to monitor conversations on company chat boards, a spokesperson said.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the policy states. “Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do.”

Google has long encouraged employees to question each other and push back against managers when they think they’re making the wrong decision. Google’s founders point to the open culture as instrumental to the success they’ve had revolutionizing the tech landscape over the last two decades.

But the freewheeling culture has led to a rash of problems for Google management in recent years. Some employees have used internal chat boards to rally other workers against some Google projects, helping push the company to end work on a censored search engine for the Chinese market and an artificial intelligence contract for the U.S. military.

“I think it’s specifically intended to silence dissent,” Irene Knapp, an engineer at Google, said. “This is the end of the important parts of Google’s open culture.”

“Ultimately, business interests will always win out over ethics in terms of what we’re allowed to say,” Knapp said.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Technology
MOUNTAIN VIEW – After almost a year of ethics controversies and internal backlash, Google is still grabbing headlines for its cumbersome approach to the sensitive issues around, well, being in...
Business
SAN FRANCISCO—Google is promising to be more forceful and open about its handling of sexual misconduct cases, a week after high paid engineers and others walked out in protest over its...
Business
SAN FRANCISCO—Mindy Cruz had an offer for a full time position at another big tech company when she accepted a temporary job as a recruiter at Google in 2017. The pay...
Technology
Well, that didn’t take long. After little more than a week, Google backtracked on creating its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, or ATEAC—a committee meant to give the company guidance on how to ethically develop new technologies...
World
CEO Sundar Pichai spelled out the concessions in an email sent Thursday to Google employees. The note of contrition came a week after the tech giant’s workers left their cubicles...