In a bid to squash political debates among its employees, the big tech has published an updated community guideline for its employees, asking staff members to cut back on political debates at work. It said in the guideline that “disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story” does not help the community to advance.”
The big tech has a history of embracing free speech and encouraging employees to share views openly. This culture, however, has become a challenge for Google. The company has come under fire by politicians for discriminating against conservative viewpoints and suppressing free speech. Some of Google’s employees had complained about the tech giant’s bullying attitude of getting back at them for speaking about the company.
A spokesperson from Google defended the company’s decisions especially as regards to the community guidelines. She said:
“Community guidelines exist to support the healthy and open discussion that has always been a part of our culture. They help create an environment where we can come together as a community in pursuit of our shared mission and serve our users. It is critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace.”
This would not be the first time that Google would update its guidelines. It first did last year, concerning how co-workers should relate with one other outside their work environment. It frowned at trolling online and calling names.
The new guideline is basically an extension of what had being previously mandated. Employees are barred from using insulting words, demeaning and humiliating words, whether directly at an individual or a group.
The updated guide also applies to the use of language within internal channels, the company’s email listservs, where the bulk of communication among the employees take place. A certain ex Google engineer, James Damore was fired after creating a controversial memo on diversity that went viral. The guide also applies to other internal channels like Memegen and Dory. Employees communicate by creating and posting memes to give feedback on various topics using Memegen. Dory on the other hand is a Question & Answer platform that allows subordinates to communicate with the executives by voting on questions to ask.
A part of the updated guidelines also read that the big tech is working to suppress how employees make “false or misleading statements about Google products or business that could undermine trust in the products and the work that we do.”
Sunday Pichai, Google CEO sent in the new guide to employees before publishing them online after a turbulent few years at Google that had resulted to employee uprisings.