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Google employees ordered to stay away from domestic politics following anti-Israel protests

Google employees ordered to stay away from domestic politics following anti-Israel protests


On Tuesday, employees staged sit-ins at the company's Silicon Valley and New York offices, wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Googlers Against Genocide” and a photo by Thomas Kurian, the company's head of cloud computing. occupied the office.

Nine people were arrested after refusing to leave.

Google is selling cloud computing and artificial intelligence services to the Israeli military as part of a $1.2 billion ($1 billion) program called Project Nimbus. The company says it is simply providing publicly available cloud computing services to the project.

Chris Rakow, Google's head of security, said Wednesday's protests were unacceptable, extremely disruptive and made his colleagues feel threatened.

Google has been trying to gradually crack down on heated political debate in recent years. Recently, he changed his internal messaging tools to limit bickering about the Gaza war and suppress political discussion during meetings.

This comes amid growing protests over the companies' controversial work, including an AI contract for the US military and a secret project to build a censored search engine for China, both of which have now been abandoned. There is.

The company is also facing an employee revolt over its treatment of women and mass layoffs.

In 2017, it fired an engineer who distributed a memo opposing Google's efforts to close the gender gap.

Mr. Pichais' directive highlights changes in Silicon Valley, where companies have often sought to foster mission-driven cultures.

In 2020, cryptocurrency company Coinbase announced that it would not allow discussion of politics or social issues in the workplace and would reward employees if they quit because of its policies. The move was controversial at the time, with executives including Twitter's then-chief executive Jack Dorsey publicly criticizing it, and dozens of staffers leaving the company.

Other tech giants, including Facebook's parent company Meta, are trying to limit political discussion in the workplace.

Google has recently come under fire after its Gemini chatbot created various images of Nazi soldiers and Vikings. Founder Sergey Brin acknowledged that chatbots are often left-leaning.




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