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Fired Google Engineer Says Company Execs Shamed and Smeared Him (bloomberg.com) 711

An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report, in which the recently fired employee has been interviewed: James Damore, who until Monday worked as an engineer on video and image search at Alphabet's Mountain View, California, headquarters, said he initially shared the 3,300-word memo internally a month ago. But it was only after the memo went viral that company leaders banded together to make him an outcast, he said on Bloomberg TV. When he initially circulated the memo, "no one high up ever came to me and said, 'No, don't do this,' even though there were many people who looked at it," Damore said. "It was only after it got viral that upper management started shaming me and eventually firing me." The memo, which was leaked to the public over the weekend, argues that conservative viewpoints are suppressed at Google and that biological differences between men and women explain in part why so few women work in software engineering. Even if someone in Google management had agreed with some of the arguments put forth in his piece, they wouldn't have felt safe speaking up, he said. "There was a concerted effort among upper management to have a very clear signal that what I did was harmful and wrong and didn't stand for Google," Damore said. "It would be career suicide for any executives or directors to support me."
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Fired Google Engineer Says Company Execs Shamed and Smeared Him

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:39PM (#54984835)

    I worked at Google NY..and there is no greater thought control bubble when it comes to anything non-tech.

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:39PM (#54984837)

    and every PC snowflake he sues. He did nothing wrong & he is being slandered by just about every "news" & social outfit that is willingly mischaracterizing his memo.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:47PM (#54984923)

      I admire the guy for standing up for the empirical truth or what he believes to be the empirical truth; probably knowing the potential consequences to his career.

      Frankly; I hope he takes them all to court -- fights it out to the end and wins. I also hope he finds people to support him in this crusade and help prevent total ruin in his life caused by the brainless authoritarian dogmatic left.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I kind of wonder if he intended to get fired and the sue... It wasn't exactly hard to predict. He could have published it anonymously, but didn't. It just seems like he wanted to martyr himself.

        • I'd put money on it. Either he's socially absolutely brain-dead (possibly) or he had a plan that he understood the possible consequences of. Most people who want to stay in an organization understand that becoming a lightning rod for criticism is not a good idea. Don't poke the sleeping management bear is a pretty well understood rule.

          That said, the comment that it would have been career suicide to support some of his views is laughable. Career at Google, maybe. But not career outside of Google. Ple

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          I kind of wonder if he intended to get fired and the sue... It wasn't exactly hard to predict. He could have published it anonymously, but didn't. It just seems like he wanted to martyr himself.

          I listened to an interview with the guy, and doubt it. Sure, you and I reading /. would know what was coming, but a whole lot of people don't pay any attention to the political world until something bad happens to them. Not a new phenomenon, and certainly not something new where a bookworm gets surprised by politics.

  • $265M Boondoggle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by js290 ( 697670 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:40PM (#54984851)

    Let's be clear... he was fired for exposing their $265M boondoggle: https://www.axios.com/googles-... [axios.com]

    How many targeted scholarships and local/urban school improvements could have been had for $265M?

    • It's Google's money though, so they can do with it what they want. Companies invest far more money than that in things that don't pan out all the time, so I'm not sure why this should be given any special consideration.

      If it were taxpayer money I think you'd have more cause for argument.
      • Maybe it's shareholders' money, actually?
        • Shareholders get quarterly reports showing what Google is doing with its money. If they don't like what's happening, they can sell their shares or work to get different board members in place.

    • You might want to consult a dictionary, because you don't know what "boondoggle" means.

      You're just another aliterate asshole on the internet.

  • "Do No Evil" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:40PM (#54984855)

    Everyone knows, rule by witchhunt creates the best workplace and products.

    People look back on history condescendingly about the Salem Witch Trials and "how could people be so ignorant." Then you look at what's happening right now. There's some biological / social urge to "Weed out the aliens/different/toxic entity" within an organization.

    There's no difference. There's no moral high ground. The same justifications only a different set of victims this time around. History repeats.

    The hippies that used to protest their clean cut bosses are now the ones crushing the minorities. History repeats.

  • Conservative Values (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:46PM (#54984919)

    He was free to express his opinion, they were free to fire him.

    Does he want government intervention or a union or something?

    • Except he filed an national labor board complaint. If they had retaliated against him for that at a previous incident, that's illegal.

      So grab some popcorn 'cuz this is gonna be fun.

    • So if you wrote a memo saying "I believe men and women are equal" and your company execs disagreed with you and fired you for writing that memo, you would be totally okay with that? You wouldn't raise a stink, you wouldn't talk to the media, you would just go away quietly and look for another job?

      • So if you wrote a memo saying "I believe men and women are equal" and your company execs disagreed with you and fired you for writing that memo, you would be totally okay with that?

        There is a very long distance between "totally okay with that" and "file a lawsuit".

        At-will employment means Google did nothing legally wrong, whether or not you think it was the wrong thing to do.

      • You seem to misunderstand the concept of workplace discrimination.

        In the statement, "I believe men and women are equal" there is no discrimination going on. It is like saying, "I believe red and blue are both colors." It has no weight at all when viewed from the perspective of state anti-discrimination laws and the requirement that employers provide a non-hostile workplace.

        If you disagree with the existence of anti-discrimination laws as they relate to employment in the State of California, you should do th

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What does any of this have to do with conservative values? Is he a conservative? Or are free speech and a basic understanding of biology and psychology now considered conservative?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vermonter ( 2683811 )
      You realize the guy identifies as liberal, right?
    • He was free to express his opinion, they were free to fire him.

      With regards to the latter statement, not necessarily

      He said he was aware of illegal hiring practices at Google (see page 6, footnote 6 [vice.com]), so them firing him days later could be viewed as retaliation against a whistleblower, which is an illegal reason to fire someone in California.

      Also, he identified himself on page 2 as a "classical liberal [wikipedia.org]" (including with that link), not a conservative.

  • That is no Google engineer. That guy is Howard Wolowitz!

  • Of course. (Score:2, Troll)

    by tbannist ( 230135 )

    Of course he's saying they shamed and smeared him, to do otherwise would be to admit they had good reasons to fire him.

    The problem is that he basically accused his bosses of being incompetent thought-controlling tyrants, and then let his accusations get into the media. He put them in the difficult position of either having to admit his accusations were correct or having to fire him. If what he wrote was true, they weren't going to the first one and if what he wrote was false, they definitely weren't going

  • by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:56PM (#54985037)
    When it went viral the big G had to fire him because not doing so would have made them look bad in the public eye.
    I wouldn't really care much if it had been an extremist and sexist piece but it isn't.
    You may or may not agree but it's a reasoned document.
    Alas, it doesn't really matter, what mattered is that it got viral and many piece of news about it made it look much worse than it really is, they said it said things that are just not there. Many people who read this terrible reporting was outraged (as I would be if it really was what they claim it is) and then the man was lost.
    It's sad we've gotten so uptight about certain topics that merely suggesting something different to the accepted narrative can get you fired.
  • I don't care what it says, don't write a manifesto for work unless it's part of your job. This guy's an idiot on multiple levels, says idioto

  • You cannot expect to use biology as your shield for supporting inequality without expecting a severe backlash. This country is founded on equality. If you want something else, find a different geography that espouses your views.

    Let's be real.

    We will never achieve perfect diversity.

    But we are guaranteed equal opportunity under the constitution. Equal opportunity is not conditional on biology or "suited for" conclusions. The measuring stick is independent of biology. Unfortunately in these jobs, the pe
    • by dskoll ( 99328 )

      Equality of opportunity does not necessarily imply equality of outcome, however. This is a well-known, completely non-controversial fact.

      I am 100% in favor of equality of opportunity. Not so much in favor of rigging things to get perfect equality of outcome because that inevitably means inequality of opportunity.

  • I'm actually pretty disappointed that this didn't trigger an avalanche of support from within Google. I'd like to think that if I worked there, I'd type up my own suicide note in support of him and circulate that internally.
  • Discovery will turn up the conspiracy by nutcases, and their mgmt overlords.

    Some lawyer will have a complete field day with this, before moonwalking his way into a tens of million dollar payout. If it even gets to that level, since Google mgmt knows they are politically and morally corrupt. They'll pay out to keep this secret. This will be Gamergate II, only better, and waged in a courtroom and via depositions.

    I'm wondering how many SJWs in the media they've been conspiring with to slime this guy. They

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2017 @03:30PM (#54985409)
    Honestly, he's saying exactly the opposite. "When he initially circulated the memo, 'no one high up ever came to me and said, 'No, don't do this,' even though there were many people who looked at it."

    There's a lot of talk about free speech, but it sounds like Google was okay with him expressing his opinion, and didn't try to silence (or shame) their engineer in any way whatsoever -- for at least a month, up until it became public. If we're going to really listen to what the engineer is saying, then Google actually is tolerant of different viewpoints under most circumstances.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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