US Alt-right finds a new hero: ex-Googler James Damore

03:50  13 august  2017
03:50  13 august  2017 Source:   USA TODAY SPORTS

Google cancels employee meeting amid gender dispute

  Google cancels employee meeting amid gender dispute Google CEO Sundar Pichai has canceled an internal town hall meant to address gender discrimination after employee questions for management began to leak online.PichaiPichai said in an email to staff that several Google employees became fearful for their safety and grew concerned about being outed for speaking up at the town hall.

James Damore , the Google engineer who penned an anti-diversity manifesto that has shaken Silicon Valley, is seeking 'legal remedies' after his firing. USA TODAY.

Fortune - 10 Aug 2017 Gizmodo recently published a now-former Googler 's essay on the " most extreme and authoritarian" elements of Google's Fired Google-Memo Author James Damore 's First Stop: Alt - Right YouTube. The Alt - Right Finds a New Enemy in Silicon Valley - The New York

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SAN FRANCISCO — The alt-right has an unlikely new martyr in the culture wars: A Harvard-educated engineer in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Fired memo writer hits back: Google ‘almost like a cult’

  Fired memo writer hits back: Google ‘almost like a cult’ <p>The former Google employee who was fired after writing a memo critical of the company's diversity initiatives is hitting back, saying the company is "almost like a cult."</p>

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In the days since James Damore published a memo questioning Google's efforts to create a more welcoming environment for women, African-Americans and Latinos — then was fired for what Google said was a violation of its code-of-conduct— pundits and activists in this offshoot of mainstream conservatism have embraced him.

Damore's new Twitter handle, fired4truth, launched Tuesday and had 62,800 followers by Saturday afternoon. The leaders of the alt-right, distinguished by their understanding of how tech platforms like Twitter, Reddit and YouTube can spread and shape ideas, and whose anti-liberal ideology includes opposition to feminism and promotion of a white "ethno state," have voiced their support.

Read Google CEO's email to staff about anti-diversity memo

  Read Google CEO's email to staff about anti-diversity memo Google employee James Damore has been reportedly fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”&nbsp;Arguing that “much of what was in that memo is fair to debate,” Pichai notes that part of the screed crossed the line “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” Specifically, Pichai says “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.

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Alt-right organizers have announced plans for what they call a March on Google at as many as nine Google campuses in the United States next Saturday, to protest what they call Google's "anti-free speech monopoly."

The planned marches will come a week after an alt-right protest march "Unite the Right" in Charlottesville, Va. during which one person was killed and 26 injured when a car plowed through a group of counter-protesters. The event had be be cleared by police in riot gear after local authorities declared it an unlawful assembly following bottle-throwing clashes between alt-right demonstrators, counter-protesters, white nationalists, neo-Nazis and supporters of Black Lives Matter.

Tweeting about Damore, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich suggested he was battling "the Diversity Industrial Complex."

Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.© Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

On Thursday Damore was photographed by Peter Duke, known for his portraits of alt-right stars such as blogger Charles Johnson, who has been involved in multiple controversial fake news stories. Duke was dubbed the Annie Leibowitz of the movement by the New York Times.

Google’s fired “politically incorrect” engineer has sparked a broad ideological debate

  Google’s fired “politically incorrect” engineer has sparked a broad ideological debate The alt-right has rallied around the man they view as a hero for arguing against diversity in the workplace. James Damore, the now-fired Google engineer who wrote a viral memo stating that women are biologically unsuited for engineering and other tech industry jobs, is at the center of a polarized internet debate about whether such arguments, however controversial, should be entertained in the context of free speech. Damore has confirmed to multiple news outlets that Google dismissed him for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” His memo, which argues that women are innately incapable, unwilling, or unfit to perform a wide range of engineering and tech industry jobs, has left many people angry and appalled. But it’s also garnered plenty of support among those who agree with his arguments and those who sympathize with his claim that Google has fostered an ideological echo chamber. Such supporters feel he’s fallen victim to what many on the right perceive as the progressive social justice movement’s “politically correct” groupthink. Even before he was fired, Damore was hailed as a hero by many right-wing news outlets, some of whom accused progressives of “[stringing] him up.” And members of the alt-right have praised him as a brave soul speaking truth about fundamental differences between genders they believe are ignored by a rigidly suppressive leftist culture.

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The Ex - Googler 's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Fired Up The Alt - Right . The left is at war with reality. James Damore told the truth. For that he was witch hunted, doxxed & fired.#JeSuisJamesDamore.

Some supporters lauded Damore as a "modern day Martin Luther" and his Google manifesto likened to the ninety-five theses Luther nailed to a church door in Germany in 1517, launching the Reformation.

Fake bus-stop ads sprouted in Venice, Calif., slamming Google as "Goolag" in the same type and color as Google's logo, a reference to Soviet camps in which as many 30 million prisoners are estimated to have been starved or worked to death between 1918 and 1956.

Damore’s 10-page memo criticizing Google’s diversity efforts and focus was originally posted on internal Google discussion lists, then leaked to tech websites on August 5.

In it, he wrote that while he did not oppose diversity, efforts to increase the number of women in technical fields were unlikely to succeed because in general, women are more interested in people than ideas. Some of the traits that make women not as good a fit for technical positions as men are biologically-based, he wrote. Women are also more prone to anxiety and less tolerant of stress, he said.

Citing Google's Code of Conduct, which states that the company "strictly'' prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color and sex among other characteristics, Google CEO Sundar Pichal fired Damore on August 7, saying parts of the engineer's manifesto violate the code by advancing harmful gender stereotypes.

Fired Google engineer files complaint, weighs legal options

  Fired Google engineer files complaint, weighs legal options A 28-year-old former Google engineer who was fired over a memo he wrote about gender differences said Tuesday he's exploring all his legal options and has already filed a labor complaint over his treatment. James Damore, whose memo over the weekend caused an uproar online, said in an email that he was terminated late Monday for "perpetuating gender stereotypes." He said that prior to being fired he had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and that "it's illegal to retaliate against a NLRB charge." A filing by DamoreJames Damore, whose memo over the weekend caused an uproar online, said in an email that he was terminated late Monday for "perpetuating gender stereotypes.

1Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). James Damore , who said in an interview he feels “betrayed” by the tech giant, also filed a complaint against his former employer. Alt - right commentators also slammed some Googlers for blacklisting employees who do not support diversity

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After the firing, Damore mostly bypassed traditional media to make his case, instead giving a series of interviews on conservative and alt-right sites such as Stefan Molyneux' Freedomain Radio and Jordan B. Peterson's YouTube channel.

“Upper management started shaming me, calling the document harmful and unacceptable and not what Google stands for,” Damore told conservative talk-show host Michael Medved Friday. He said he had not claimed that women were incapable of doing technical jobs, just that they were less interested in them, he explained.

In a bylined submission to the Wall Street Journal Friday, he repeated his original memo's criticism that Google was existing in a "ideological echo chamber" by preventing questioning of its diversity efforts. "I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment," he wrote.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has defended Damore's firing, told girl coders on Thursday "there’s place for you in this industry, there’s a place for you at Google. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

Pichai made his comments after the Mountain View, Calif., company canceled a town hall meeting to address fallout from Damore's memo, which it said was out of concern for the safety of Google employees. Their names and questions began appearing on alt-right sites before the scheduled meeting.

The right is coming out in support of the fired author of the Google manifesto

  The right is coming out in support of the fired author of the Google manifesto Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo attacking the company's diversity policies — a move that has instantly turned the author into a hero of the right and threatens to ignite a Silicon Valley culture war.&nbsp;that a memo written by a Google employee had gone internally viral at the California-headquartered tech giant.

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The 28-year-old engineer's ascension into the limelight stands in contrast to the culture of Silicon Valley, broadly liberal with a strong dose of libertarian thrown in. Its biggest companies have supported the rights of a transgender student in Virginia, opposed President Trump's travel ban, and in Google's case, funded efforts to fight racial injustice. Most recently, Airbnb said it would  cancel the accounts of customers trying to use its platform during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

But to their users, social networks including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have stressed that they're value-neutral platforms, designed to allow the free exchange of ideas. A new wave of younger, tech-savvy conservatives have capitalized on these networks' ability to reach geographically dispersed, like-minded followers.

"Silicon Valley businesses are creating products that have become platforms for political speech and have in fact changed political speech," said Margaret O'Mara, a history professor at the University of Washington in Seattle who studies the political history of the tech world.

Until the late 1980s, Silicon Valley was reliably Republican. What changed was the political culture around it. “The Google memo moment is really bringing a lot of these things to the fore, at a scale and a velocity that’s bewildering to everybody — and I’m sure especially in the C suite at Google,” said O'Mara.

Outrage over Damore's firing by his supporters has given a name and face to complaints that tech companies and their powerful news feeds silence conservative voices while their leaders throw financial heft and influence behind liberal causes.

Google and the case for messy, maddening workplace democracy

  Google and the case for messy, maddening workplace democracy Last week, a Google software engineer named James Damore shot off a 10-page memo criticizing the company's internal politics and diversity efforts. Then on Monday, Google fired Damore. But this isn't just a story about Google's institutional culture. It's not even just a story about larger national efforts to increase diversity and the ensuing backlash. It also cuts right to the heart of one of the American workplace's defining traits: Its anti-democratic nature.

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Distrust in tech's political objectivity came to the fore last year when Facebook was attacked for allegedly keeping conservative stories off its trending news sidebar. Facebook denied the charge.

"World of Warcraft" to November 2016

While the culture wars — in their 2017 manifestation — may be relatively new to Silicon Valley, some of its most popular products have helped shaped them.

Steve Bannon, President Trump's adviser who oversaw Breitbart News Network and crafted his successful campaign, told a reporter he learned to harness the power of a troll army — legions of anonymous online users who attack and promote around a single belief — from the hit multi-player game World of Warcraft.

He recruited Milo Yiannopoulos, an author who often plays the role of alt-right provocateur, to spearhead technology coverage at Breitbart. Much of that conservative news start-up's tech coverage was on cultural issues including Gamergate, a long-lasting online argument over gaming culture and media coverage that lead to physical harassment of women who criticized female portrayal in video games.

Trump has used Twitter and other social media like no other president or candidate, rallying supporters and denouncing his opponents. His campaign capitalized using Internet platforms like Facebook Live to bypass the traditional media and give followers a raw connection to the candidate.

Tech companies have tried to walk a fine, avoiding the perception of censorship while responding to criticism that their sites enable hate speech, harassment and enable violence and terrorist recruitment. Twitter's removal of some alt-right accounts in November sparked a wave of criticism that it was biased against conservatives. It eventually reinstated white nationalist Richard Spencer one month after he and others associated with the alt-right movement were kicked off.

"So what we have is a country that is very divided on the kinds of issues that Mr. Damore has now come to symbolize, which are cultural," said Rita McGrath, a professor of management at Columbia Business School. "Things like attitudes toward equality and diversity, attitudes toward immigration, and so on."

Damore, she said, "came out and said what a lot of people were thinking, and I think the fact that it showed up in the context of Google, technology and Silicon Valley makes the story even better for those who feel that they are on the wrong end of efforts to promote greater equality by companies."

More: Diversity debate divides Silicon Valley

More: Ex-Google engineer files complaint over firing

More: Diversity programs at Google discriminatory, engineer claims in anti-diversity manifesto

More: Google manifesto spotlights enduring sexism issues

More: Google CEO to girls: You belong in this industry and we need you

Follow USA TODAY's San Francisco Bureau Chief Jon Swartz @jswartz on Twitter and Elizabeth Weise @eweise.

Google Town Hall Canceled Over Safety Concerns .
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said employees expressed concern they may be publicly outed for asking a question at the event."Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be 'outed' publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall," Pichai wrote in an email. "In recognition of Googlers' concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion.

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