This year's election in the United States has easily been one of the most divisive and uproarious in the country's history. It comes amid outright turbulence in the face of multiple tragedies that have been sparking political battles left and right on every issue from encryption to gun control to racism to gay rights to animals and everything in between. Naturally, amid all of this, everybody who's anybody has either chosen a side on issues or been assigned a side by the mass media. Accusations and allegations are flowing just as easily as pretty words and money, even in the tech world. One company in particular, a very large one that wields a lot of influence, is refusing to choose a side.
Google is no stranger to political and societal hot-button issues, but they rarely take a side or take a stand. Although they've stood with victims of tragedy and stood up for gay rights before, there is one thing Google will not stand for, and that's allowing themselves to appear biased in an election. With Bernie Sanders out, the decision for America comes down to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. While there are a fair number of people who see them both as unworthy of a vote, they both also have legions of followers and supporters, deep pockets and tons of influence and power. None of that seems to impress Google much; according to Eric Schmidt, the company will not be choosing a side this year or any other year.
Politics can be a very serious issue. Media giants get involved, propaganda spreads far and wide and, at times, death threats even fly about. There are more than a few obvious reasons that Google wants no part of this vicious process. The company at large tends to stick to its liberal roots on the issues, but has a policy not to take sides in issues like elections. Eric Schmidt said it best, summing everything up quite nicely; ""I can say with certainty we're going to take a position on equality, diversity, equal treatment of people, fairness, gay rights, on other matters the company will probably not take a position." For the most part, Google keeps their nose out of the political system, but their employees have no such restrictions or obligations.
Individual Google and Alphabet employees tend to be some of the biggest political contributors, despite their employer refusing to take sides in the myriad of debates. If Google was to choose a side, it could attract bad press or influence the system, but employees are only one person, no matter how much they may be getting paid or what their role may be. While some may claim that Google uses their employees as a "drone army" of sorts to support their own political interests, there is no solid proof at this time that such a thing is happening; as far as anybody knows, Google's employees' political and activism decisions are entirely their own.
While Google mostly tries to stay neutral, hot button issues such as human rights often draws their attention. Both explicitly through talks, donations and other efforts, and implicitly through their services, Google stands up on the issues they believe in, such as humanitarian laws against discrimination, as well as gun control. The internet behemoth's great weight normally helps them to get things accomplished that a grassroots effort or smaller companies could never quite match. They also have the option, of course, of using their wide reach to kick off sweeping social change at the touch of a button.