A former Google engineer has spoken to the Wall Street Journal to reveal the extent of workplace harassment that he endured because of his political leanings.
Kevin Cernekee is currently in the process filing complaints with the National Labor Relations Board over what he sees as his former employer's unfair behavior.
His testimony is a disheartening look behind the scenes of a tech giant that, although fraught with problematic business policies and suspected of political biases seeping into its products – at least still had the reputation of a good place to work.
But that's only as long as you're not a conservative, Cernekee says. Cernekee describes his experience on Google's internal forums, and at the hands of his managers and human resources staff as “bullying.”
“There's a big political angle, and they treat the two sides very differently,” he told the WSJ.
The reason Google gave for firing Cernekee in 2018 was “misuse of equipment including its remote-access software system.” But the engineer is certain that his political views, which he was expressing within the company, was the real reason.
He revealed that the anti-conservative culture within the tech giant is so prevalent that in 2017 a manager wondered on one of the public internal boards why Google “can't just fire the poisonous assholes” like Cernekee and others of similar political persuasion.
A Google representative denied in a statement that it was letting the dominant political mood within the company – namely, liberal – color its decisions when enforcing workplace policies.
Cernekee's testimony about an anti-conservative bias against employees themselves comes after a current senior Google engineer, Greg Coppola, recently revealed how this political agenda spills over into Google's flagship products.
Coppola was suspended almost immediately after he revealed that Google News was effectively programmed to rank highly those results coming from prominent anti-Trump media sources, like CNN. He also stressed that algorithms are human-made and not inherently unbiased.
And if anyone is wondering what the majority political sentiment inside Google is – and if such a majority might just up produce a mob mentality – they should look no further than this week's public disclosures of campaign donations.
About 95 percent of Googlers' donations went to Democrats, the WSJ report said, quoting data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
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