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August 13, 2019 06:36 pm PDT

Deep look at the Googler Uprising, drawing on insider interviews

In May 2018, Google faced a series of public resignations and scandals over a secret internal project to supply AI tools to the Pentagon's drone warfare project; then, in August 2018, scandal hit again with the news that Google was secretly developing a censoring, surveilling Chinese search-tool; then came the news that the company had secretly paid Android founder Andy Rubin $90m to quietly leave the company after credible accusations of sexual abuse and assault.

We've covered the story as it unfolded, and others have attempted to trace its trajectory, but now, Wired's Nitasha Tiku has written a massive, deeply reported recap of the entire affair, up to and including the departures of key organizers like Meredith Whittaker and Celie ONeil-Hart, who say they were targeted for retaliation by the company for their activism.

Tiku shows how Google's "Don't Be Evil" motto was a key advantage when it came to recruiting top engineering talent in one of history's tightest labor-markets. She also describes how far-right "provocateurs" like Kevin Cernekee and James Damore were able to use "the paradox of tolerance" to play the system, while teaming up with Trumpist media outlets to stoke outrage at the idea that banning the circulation of memos detailing eugenic theories about the natural role of women is "anti-conservative bias."

Finally, she shows how gender discrimination was the hardest issue for Google to cope with: racist remarks and conduct were met with swift reprisal, but discrimination against women, sexual harassment and sexual assault were swept under the rug. Read the rest


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