Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

Google Cancels 'Diversity' Meeting, Citing Fears of Online Harassment

Google Cancels 'Diversity' Meeting, Citing Fears of Online Harassment

After reportedly cancelling a town hall meeting to allay fears over an anti-diversity manifesto, Google's Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai finally addressed a coding event for girls on the sprawling campus at Mountain View, California.

The company meeting was called to discuss the fallout of Google's decision on Monday to fire an engineer, James Damore, after he posted a memo on Google's internal network arguing that the company's dearth of female engineers was because women were genetically less well-suited to software engineering than men.

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.

James Damore, the former Google engineer who was sacked Monday after posting a missive criticizing the company's diversity programs that leaked online.

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

More news: Lawsuit Opposes Trump's Ban on Transgender Military Service
More news: Geopolitical Concerns Lead To Weakness On Wall Street
More news: I felt 'crap' for hitting marshal: Koepka

The meeting was cancelled after employees who had sent preliminary questions started getting harassed online.

Google's new vice-president Danielle Brown said that Mr Damore's view "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender". Being a federal contractor, Google is subject to periodical government reviews of its business practices, though it's now unclear whether the latest controversy has a realistic chance of affecting its status with the administration. Wired reported that on Wednesday alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos "posted on his Facebook page the Twitter biographies of eight Google employees who criticized Damore's post". Critics of Damore's firing are planning to protest outside Google offices in five USA cities.

Damore has also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and has expressed interest in taking legal action against Google. Screenshots of the questions with names attached had been leaked, although none with names had been published as of late Thursday, a Google spokeswoman said.

"People get offended because it goes against the left's ideology", Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show on YouTube. The loud voice here is a liberal one.

The protesters are accusing Google of censoring their criticism of it, usually using combinations of the words "Amendment", "First", and "fascism", in a pretty good facsimile of what the Constitution might look like if you ran it through a meat grinder and reassembled it from scraps. "What is leadership doing to ensure Googlers like me feel invited and accepted, not just tolerated or safe from angry mobs?"

Like this: