Memo On 'Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber' Sparks Outrage

An anti-diversity letter authored by one of Google's software engineers went viral within the Alphabet-owned company and sparked an outrage among its employees in recent days, with the person who penned it criticizing "Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber," which is also the title of the document that made its way to many Googlers before being obtained by Gizmodo on Saturday. The author — who specifically states he's a white male writing about his experiences in the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California — argues that while sexism and gender discrimination undoubtedly exist in the Western society, they aren't a problem at Google, implying that they also didn't exist before the tech giant introduced a number of its diversity initiatives, some of which he feels are misguided. He goes on to claim that not all representation disparities are caused by oppression and hence cannot be rectified by oppression, likely referring to a number of the company's efforts to hire more women in tech and software engineering in particular.

The author goes into many details on what he believes are various psychological and biological differences between the two genders, ultimately arguing that women should be encouraged to go into tech through different means without having Google specifically looking to hire them instead of what he thinks are more qualified men. Many of Google's employees denounced the contents of the letter, according to Motherboard, though it's currently unclear how much of the company's work force shares the exact viewpoints expressed by the author of the controversial document who also argued that Google as a firm is too left-leaning and should strive to be more neutral in the future by "de-moralizing diversity" and confronting various biases of its own corporate culture.

On Saturday, Danielle Brown, Google's new Vice President of Diversity, sent an internal email to all of the firm's employees in Mountain View in response to the polarizing letter, stating that the document promotes "incorrect assumptions about gender." She argued that Google isn't looking to ostracize individuals within its work force who freely share more conservative viewpoints but noted how such stances need to be in line with the company's Code of Conduct, as well as federal anti-discrimination laws that mandate honoring the principles of equal employment. Danielle concluded that her memo isn't the end of the discussion on the matter and encouraged Googlers to keep sending feedback to her department. Google recently recorded a major win in its dispute with the United States Department of Labor over alleged gender pay discrimination, making the timing of the controversial memo even more inopportune and prone to causing an outrage among the company's employees, though Ms. Brown's diplomatic response to the memo indicates that she'll be looking to resolve the situation as sensibly as possible.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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