hat the Internet giant Google has brought a lot of technological innovation to the world is known to almost every toddler. We owe Google partly the Internet as it exists today, and especially a fast search engine, gratis spam free email, intelligent language translations, and much more. Google is omnipresent, the billion-dollar company lays its own optical fiber cables across oceans, operates huge server farms whose locations are kept top secret, and is highly active in the area of A.I. One could almost believe that Google is a 100% friendly and transparent company which has even selected the slogan 'Don't be evil' as their corporate marketing slogan for a while. But the company has it's dark sides which most poeple have never heard of.
On August 7, 2017, a Google employee at Mountain View, California named James Damore was fired by Google's CEO personally after Damore attached a ten-page memorandum
regarding Google's diversity policy to an internal digital corporate discussion board. In his memorandum named "Google's ideological echo chamber", James Damore - who had worked before being fired at Google as a software engineer - critized what he considers the company's "biased corporate culture". He described in his memorandum how this bias affects Google's diversity and how it creates an exclusionary culture at the company. James Damore explained that he welcomes diversity, and that he supports such in the work environment. But he claims that the company's discussion climate would prevent an actual debate about the topic. Google's employees would not dare to freely voice an opinion because of fear of being fired, Damore claimed:
Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document. Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology ... At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices ... In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I'd be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.
James Damore further claims that unconscious, as well as explicit prejudice would particularly shy away women from technology jobs and leadership positions:
On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed ... I’m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are 'just'. I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.
He emphasized on these gender differences more extensively in his memorandum
and makes a number of suggestions on how to reduce ideological prejudices at Google - and thus on how to improve diversity in the workplace. A few days later, he was fired. Google's top manager Sundai Pinchar even interrupted his vacation in Europe because of this incident. Employees at Google in Mountain View asked for James Damore to be immediately escorted to the main entrance by security guards and that his personal belongings should be sent to his home. Danielle Brown, Google's manager for diversity at the workplace had this to say about James Damore being fired:
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
CEO Sundar Pichai went even further and mentioned in a company-wide distributed email titled "Our words matter" that James Damore had apparently violated Google's company codex, stating the following in his email
Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes (!) in our workplace ... To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.
A few months later, James Damore and his lawyer started legal actions against Google in Mountain View since California's employment laws strictly prohibit politically motivated terminations of employment contracts. On January 8, 2018, James Damore's lawyers also file a lawsuit
against Google for violation of discrimination rights at the Supreme Court in Santa Clara, California. At the end of February 2018, a lawyer with the Naional Labor Relations Board in the US - an entity that initially has little to do with the lawsuit filed by Damore - gives a statement to the public that the tech giant had apparently acted
in alignment with the law in it's decision to fire James Damore. This statement is not surprising given that Google had lobbied the NLRB lawyer previously.
On a more technical front, many know that Google has an economic interest in collecting data from it's billions of users. Massive amounts of data especially from mobile phone users are collected and analyzed to display personalized advertisements, among other. However, the mobile data collected by Google's so called "surveillance capitalism" is created even when a phone is operating without a SIM card, is not connected to a Wi-Fi network, and even when operating in flight mode as can be seen in this
In addition, Eric Schmidt, Google's former senior executive and ex-Chief Executive Officer of parent company Alphabet, stepped down from
his position in late December 2017 - not even 24 hours after US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order advising several US authorities to act against human trafficking, corruption and the companies involved in it. Some emails confirm the supporting
role of ex-CEO Eric Schmidt for the Democratic Party
during past elections as well:
I have put together my thoughts on the campaign ideas and I have scheduled some meetings in the next few weeks for veterans of the campaign to tell me how to make these ideas better. This is simply a draft but do let me know if this is a helpful process for you all. Thanks !! Eric
Notes for a 2016 Democratic Campaign
Here are some comments and observations based on what we saw in the 2012 campaign. If we get started soon, we will be in a very strong position to
execute well for 2016 ...
Interesting also that Eric Schmidt had visited North Korea in January 2013
, about a month after the country had successfully completed a long-range missile test. The visit even earned condemnation from the Obama State Department which announced that Schmidt's visit came at an "unfavorable time." Schmidt was accompanied by Jared Cohen, a former US State Department employee and observer of the so-called "Arab Spring" in Egypt and Iran.
Internal Google documents show that Google employees had discussed blocking major conservative news outlets from search results
after the election of Trump in 2016 in order to prevent a reelection in four years. Additional emails reveal Google's political consultation for the Democratic Party in the US, this in connection with a voter group for Latinos as explained in the following video:
Furthermore, Google had aligned with a company called 'Southern Poverty Law Center' to assist the tech giant in their moral filtering efforts
to clear Google's web content from what they claim to be 'hate-speech'. The company classifies into such categories without much hesitation many conservative personalities who are most likely on the so-called 'hate-speech map' of the Southern Poverty Law Center
because many of these personalities and journalists are eager to find out the truth (including about Google and Co.).
An alleged "vandalism" on some of Google's search result pages causes further irritation in early June 2018
, not just in the US. A search for 'Republican Party of California' indicates in Google's so-called 'knowledge panel' that this would supposedly be a Nazi ideology. Google tries to correct the error as quickly as possible and explains that the company would not be biased against conservative opinions. Meanwhile, some Google employees proclaim that the yearly get-together of conservative politicians in the USA (CPAC) would apparently be a conference of "hate" and "ethno-nationalism"
. A Google senior director as well suggests that the tech giant should use its resources in order to "steer conservatives and Republicans more towards a message of liberty and freedom"
On August 29, 2018, even US President Donald Trump had to tweet his concerns about political bias at Google to the world
, stating that the tech giant had treated other US presidents very differently in the past:
Only a few days later, lawmakers from the US Congress complain about Google as well. The company was asked to send a top official to Washington, DC for a Senate Intelligence hearing on election interference along with Facebook and Twitter. Whereas Facebook and Twitter had sent their COO and CEO, Google offered to have a lawyer send to Washington. Thus, the company received a so-called 'empty chair'
at the US Congress, a way for the lawmakers to express their protest against Google.
On September 12, 2018, news outlet Breitbart releases an internal Google video
from the day after the November 2016 election. Four top Google executives plus founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dedicate over an hour of their certainly precious time in a so-called 'Thank-God-It's-Friday (TGIF)' meeting to express mostly concern regarding the election results
from the night before:
Google Founder Sergey Brin: “The election ... conflicts with many of our values ... We have no idea, which direction this country will take ... and it's a period of great uncertainty. It's uncertain for many of us here, especially immigrants or minorities, women, aehm, I mean so many people, just generally people who have kids and wonder about their world.“
VP Global Affairs Kent Walker: “Fear, not just in the US but around the world is fueling concerns, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.“
CFO Ruth Porat: “We will use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.“
VP People Operations Eileen Naughton: “We keep a close watch on this. Our policy office in [Washington] DC is all over it [the immigration issue] and ... we will of course fight ... We have also position [ourselves] over the past 10 years to fix what is a very broken immigration system in this country and we are going to take that fight forward.“
Additionally, an article on The Intercept
reveals that Google had helped building a search engine codenamed 'Dragonfly' for the Chinese government and which would connect the phone numbers of users to their searches, hence making it easy to identify dissidents and human rights activists in China and elsewhere. Even after CEO Pichai had announced it had ended the close project cooperation
with the Chinese government, Google insiders report some months later that the project had been very well continued
- by the instruction of Google's top management levels.
Beginning of October 2018 brings to light that the personal data of at least 500,000 users were accessible to external software developers by a glitch at Google +
. Various countries begin investigating the matter.
The issues surrounding Google are getting interesting again in mid December 2018. CEO Sundai Pichai finally appears in front of the US-Congress
to propagandate that Google would apparently be "no haven for political bias". Interestingly, the press reports about a not really small fire which breaks out in Google's tech center in Beijing, China
on the exact same day when Pichai appears in the US-Congress.
It took only a few months until leaked Google documents prove
that Google acutally did manipulate its search results
for left-wing causes by using a blacklist, this also in Ireland shortly before a public referendum on abortion
. And since Google explains in their internal newsletters
among others that criticizing the People's Republic of China would be considered 'hate speech', the fire at Google's tech center in Beijing could potentially also be seen from a different angle.
Further news about Google reach the world in the begining of 2019. An internal Google study to identify the female wage gap to proof how much women are paid less compared to their male work colleagues reveals the exact opposite
: the major portion of female Google employees are paid more than men at similar work positions. This may finally be the reason why certain forces at Google not only in California were so eager to have James Damore fired back then.
In the Summer of 2019, the US Congress holds a hearing with the title "Google and Censorship through Search Engines". A well-respected academic and ex-Hillary Clinton supporter presents his findings there. He claims that Google was and is able to swing between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes by manipulating their various software technologies:
The two Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announce
at the end of 2019 that they are stepping down from their senior roles at Google's mother company Alphabet. Only a few weeks later, Alphabet's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond steps down
as well, allegedly because of several relationships with women at the company.
By the way, our news blog had of course as well been targeted by Google. It took months for the company to register the basic site links we had submitted multiple times starting two years ago. Only around 60% of all our well-defined and submitted links were accepted by the tech giant and from these few taken, some were presented with hidden url entries to our articles in Google's search result pages, elegantly inviting hackers to take a more closer look at our platform.
In addition, over a period of months, a Google video search for our previous blog site
listed quite an interesting image related to a video interview with George Soros
in the search results - a still image connected to a video which did not appear at all that way on our website. Protective measures were taken to prevent such an image from being displayed a year earlier. We had even altered the entire movie link many months before we realized Google's behavior.
Meanwhile, we could track many hacker attempts on our website. It seems Google maintains intentionally and willingly political bias and hence was rewarded with criminal charges at the local Public Prosecutor's Office in September 2018 by us.
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