Google, arguably the world’s most powerful internet company, has long been on the radar of freedom advocates concerned about the company’s role in the First Amendment.
The gargantuan corporation not only controls how the world interacts with one another, but they have employed their highly developed algorithms into nearly all facets of life in the modern world. Let’s say you’re visiting a new city and you’re looking for a place to eat Italian food. You will use Google to read restaurant reviews. You’ll use Google Maps to get there. You may even use Google Wallet to make the splitting of the bill that much simpler.
The company truly does have you under their thumb, whether you realize it or not.
So, when Google pushes back against free speech by censoring and adjusting their search results to exclude conservative and traditional viewpoints, the world takes notice.
Furthermore, the organization has come under fire in recent months for sexist statements made by a Google engineer who claimed that women were not preferable for certain roles within the company. This has led to an incredible backlash against the internet giant, and now employees are complaining that the extremely valuable company is doing little to protect them from the harassment.
“The firing of Google engineer James Damore for claiming women are not biologically suited for technical roles has triggered a culture war inside the Internet giant, with some Google employees saying the company is not doing enough to protect them from a harassment campaign that has subjected them to hateful comments and violent threats.
“These employees, many of whom volunteer as diversity advocates, say they’ve been targeted by some of their own coworkers for fighting to bring greater diversity to Google’s 78,000-plus staff of mostly white and Asian men.
“Their personal information and comments expressed in internal company forums have been leaked to the public and published on far-right websites, leading to mistreatment by online vigilantes. What’s more, they say they’ve been subjected to doxing on websites like 4Chan and Kiwi Farms after screenshots were included in the 161-page lawsuit Damore filed in January alleging Google discriminates against whites, conservatives and men.
It seems that the internet’s most powerful tool isn’t so mighty after all.
Google has yet to respond to these claims, likely in order to put forward a solution internally before spilling the beans publicly. After all, when it comes to Google, optics are king.