Google: When “Corporate Culture” becomes “Cult”
Google: When “Corporate Culture” becomes “Cult”
Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.
~~Narrator in A Christmas Story
Brand loyalty is a funny thing … it based on consumer satisfaction at the product or service level. Once the customer finds that sweet spot of quality and price, the company will find success and have a loyal consumer base. Customers rarely give a second thought to the company itself.
So when a company as large, powerful, and wildly successful as Google, decided to fire James Damore so publicly, and with prejudice, people outside of Silicon Valley started to take notice of what was behind the curtain of their favorite application provider.
And while Google’s rather unique corporate culture has been commented on before, the lawsuit filed on Monday shows less a collegiate atmosphere and more a cult-like monoculture where shaming, “pecking”, blacklisting, and bullying over heterodox views are a feature, not a bug, of being “Googley”.
In reading through the complaint, I was first struck by the creepiness of GoogleSpeak. There’s Googlers, “Be Googley”. New hires are “Nooglers” who are identified as such by other employees because Nooglers wear copter beanies.
Really? Why would a company believe it was acceptable to infantilize adults that way?
Google provides for a myriad of internal groups where, allegedly, people who share interests in common can share and increase those corporate bonds of teamwork. Heterodox interests, though, are problematic.
123. Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google’s internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.
124. In March of 2017, Google HR strongly suggested to a Google employee that conservative and traditional parenting techniques were unwelcome at Google.
125. Google HR brought up the following post that the employee made in response to a Google thread in which someone specifically requested conservative parenting advice:
“If I had a child, I would teach him/her traditional gender roles and patriarchy from a very young age. That’s the hardest thing to fix later, and our degenerate society constantly pushes the wrong message.”
126. Google HR stated, “We did not find that this post, on its face, violated any of Google’s policies, but your choice of words could suggest that you were advocating for a system in which men work outside the home and women do not, or that you were advocating for rigid adherence to gender identity at birth. We trust that neither is what you intended to say. We are providing you with this feedback so that you can better understand how some Googlers interpreted your statements, and so that you are better equipped to ensure that Google is a place in which all Googlers are able to reach their full potential.” In other words, Google scolded the Google Employee for, among other things, believing that gender identity is set at birth biologically—a position held by the vast majority of the world’s populace that Google professes to serve.
Exhibit B to the complaint provides some eye-opening screenshots of commentary from both rank-n-file Googlers and upper-management. The hostility to non-leftist opinion and white, heterosexual males is blatant. And the reaction to the election of President Trump is incendiary, including clear calls for violence against Trump supporters. This is only matched by the reactions to James Damore’s memo, including for repeated calls to fire any Googler who supported or agreed with Damore or his memo — in all essence, proving his original point.
Scrolling through the images one is struck by the hubris and narcissism rampant in a group that would fit any normal definition of privilege. So sure are they of their own moral virtue that no dissent nor disagreement is possible. Indeed, any disagreement is not opinion, but WrongValue, something no longer to be tolerated by all Rightminded People.
I’m reminded of Thomas Sowell’s quote from Vision of the Anointed
“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”
Then there’s stuff like this:
Remember, this is all posted on internal Google forums. Indeed, Google even had its own meme-generator for employee use. The screencaps are what might be expected of a radical Leftwing monoculture.
Yanking back the curtain on the Google corporate cult
ure also provides a foundation for the bias this company exerts through its services. The 2016 election included accusations that Google manipulated the searches in favor of Hillary. Google’s YouTube is also facing a lawsuit for its well-known practice of demonitizing and restricting the videos of mainstream libertarians and conservatives.
The Internet did not explode into prominence because people were satisfied with being restricted to the single point-of-view of legacy media. To have a omnipresent conglomerate like Google attempt to control the dissemination of information, opinion, and entertainment (and possibly even private documents) they have decided is best is unacceptable …
And maybe it is time Congress or the Department of Justice open an investigation.