Google’s employees are now required to not insult, demean, or humiliate other employees, its “extended workforce”, business partners, and others. They are also discouraged from engaging in “raging debates over politics or the latest new story”- alluding indirectly to the verbal violence that some social media content could ignite – and to avoid conversation that is considered disruptive, following a series of leaks from Google message boards that suggest politics is a hot topic within the company.
The new policy states that Google employees’ primary duty is to get done the job they have been hired to do, not spend time on “debates about non-work topics”.
Under the new rules, the company discourages workers from talking about politics on Google’s internal mailing lists and forums.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
“Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. Billions of people rely on us every day for high-quality, reliable information. It’s critical that we honor 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. ”
The guidelines warn Google employees not to make false or misleading statements that could affect trust in the company and recommend them to be cautious when discussing company activities publicly.
Former employees with conservative views have pointed at the company’s politically biased culture, alleging they had been discriminated against and, in some cases, even fired based on their political alignment on certain topics.
This month, the former Google engineer Kevin Cernekee said he was fired for being an outspoken conservative and said that Google has a culture of politically biased bullying. In 2017, James Damore, another former Google engineer, also alleged the company discriminated against him and others for having conservative views.
Google was this year trying to stem discussion of political topics in order to help prevent leaks that would reveal employee political bias. This came after internal messages were leaked, showing that some Google employees appeared to have some political motivations.
One of the former employees from the group of liberals that organized the Walkout protests against sexual harassment policies left the movement and resigned, alleging continued retaliation from the company’s management.