April 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Another batch of internal communications among Google employees shows private turmoil over the tech company’s inclusion of a prominent conservative on one of its short-lived advisory councils, while others suggested that her inclusion gives an appearance of bipartisanship that would prove politically expedient.
Last week, Google announced the formation of an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), a body that would “guide the development and use of [artificial intelligence] and advanced technologies in our research and products.” It comprised various technology and policy experts, including Kay Coles James, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Internal discussion threads obtained by Breitbart News show intense resistance to James, particularly likening her conservative views on homosexuality and gender to rank bigotry.
“Would we even consider having a virulent anti-semite on the advisory board? How about an avowed racist or white supremacist?” one employee asked. “It’s so upsetting that some of our leaders overlooked such hateful positions as Kay Cole James and the Heritage foundation have articulated and regularly advocate for,” another said.
Other comments claimed that Heritage’s research and policy recommendations on issues such as marriage and gender amount to “rhetorical violence” that “translate[s] to real, material violence against trans people, particularly trans women of color” and even attacks on coworkers who welcomed Cole James’s inclusion. “Please feel free to see yourself off this list if all you have to contribute is concern trolling about whether or not we’re pandering to rank bigotry enough,” one demanded.
“Justifying including bigots in the name of ‘viewpoint diversity’ is, flatly, a dangerous weaponization of the language of [diversity & inclusion],” wrote Meredith Wittaker, co-founder of New York University’s A.I. Now Institute and head of two Google projects. “I would note that the argument for viewpoint diversity was at the core of [fired Google employee James] Damore’s memo, and has been used by the alt-right to argue against diversity efforts that focus on historically marginalized communities.”
Potentially more alarming than the intolerance of Google’s progressive culture are the rationales some put forward in defense of the Heritage chief’s involvement. One said Cole James would give the tech giant “political cover” for “actions that Google wants to take.”
Blake Lemoine, a Google employee whom Breitbart News has covered before, also emphasized the political expedience of including the Heritage Foundation’s president on the advisory council.
Noting that Coles James was presumably “unimpeachable in the eyes of the Republican party,” senior software engineer Blake Lemoine (who previously called pro-life congresswoman and Big Tech critic Marsha Blackburn a “terrorist”) stressed that she “wasn’t included so that she can advise us about how our systems can more effectively oppress” people, but “so that she can advise us as to why we scare the ever living s— out of conservatives and what we can do to ease their fears so they don’t literally end our company’s existence. Because that’s what’s on the line right now.”
A petition by so-called “Googlers Against Transphobia and Hate” demanding Cole James’s firing or resignation collected more than 2,400 signatures, but it ultimately proved moot — Vox reports that following internal revolt and multiple resignations, Google has dissolved ATEAC entirely (the board was also controversial for the inclusion of drone company CEO Dyan Gibbens).
“It’s become clear that in the current environment, ATEAC can’t function as we wanted,” the company said in a statement. “So we’re ending the council and going back to the drawing board. We’ll continue to be responsible in our work on the important issues that AI raises, and will find different ways of getting outside opinions on these topics.”
This controversy is only the latest example of the Google’s left-wing biases. Numerous leaked private conversations and documents appear to show not only that the dominant ideologies at Google are dramatically out of step with the country at large, but that Google is willing to enforce those ideologies through its ostensibly neutral services and platforms.
Other Google scandals include analysis finding a heavy liberal tilt to news sources in its search results, estimates that Google may have swung as many as 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016, partnership with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center for flagging “hate,” and the restriction of videos from conservative groups such as Prager University and Live Action.
Google’s latest turmoil comes as the Reputation Institute’s latest annual survey of corporate reputations in the United States finds that Google has fallen 63 places from its ranking last year, to fall out of the Top 100 Companies for the first time in the survey’s 12-year history.