There is no equivalent of Alcoholic Anonymous for the denizens of Silicon Valley, but maybe it’s high time someone out there create such a group.
If there were a mutual aid fellowship — call it Social Media Platforms Anonymous — one of its first clients could be Google, which suffers from a serious “liberal problem.”
Repeatedly, the higher-ups in that $739 billion company swear that their brand is apolitical. When a telling video of Google’s leadership somberly “coping” with the outcome of 2016 election was released, the company released a statement claiming that “nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products.”
Google clung to the same story when it was revealed that employees had sought to rig search results so as to push back against Trump’s travel ban and again when a top search engineer labeled GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn a “violent thug” and a “terrorist.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has admitted freely that he is a liberal but insists that his political views are his own and are in no way reflected in Google’s product. But that story is becoming harder and harder to believe with each passing incident.
The latest involves the head of Google’s UX design team, Dave Hogue, who tweeted last Friday:
The original tweet was deleted (the above is a screen shot). Hogue admits as much in a less virulent follow-up tweet, in which he writes: “Yes, I deleted that tweet. Yes, those opinions are mine personally, and I am responsible for them. Yes, I should have been more eloquent and less condemning. Yes, I still believe the @GOP is wrong and not serving your best interests. Yes, I still believe we can do much better.”
The last line of Hogue’s tweet is clearly intended to refer to America, but it applies even more to Google, which should really own up to what makes it tick. Admitting its bias would not make Google a better company or product, but it might make Hogue and his fellow execs look less hypocritical.