The Atlantic Asks Google: What Is ‘Fair to Debate’ at the Company?

The Associated Press

The Atlantic has published a piece on the ongoing controversy over Google’s firing of James Damore, a former engineer who was let go after he published a memo calling for more viewpoint diversity at the tech giant. The article asks Google’s CEO to specify what is open to debate at the company and what is not.

As The Atlantic points out, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Damore’s firing with a vague, hedging statement, saying that some parts of the memo were open to debate, while others crossed the line.

But he didn’t specify precisely what was open to debate. The Atlantic wants to know — and everyone else should too, not least Google employees who wish to avoid the same fate.

When CEO Sundar Pichai addressed a controversial memo about diversity that circulated inside Google, culminating in the termination of its author, James Damore, he began by telling the company’s 72,053 employees that “we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it.”


I have a question for the CEO.

Given that the full text of the memo is public, that it is the subject of a national debate on an important subject, that many educated people disagree with one another about what claims it made, and that clarity can only help Google employees adhere to the company’s rules going forward, would you be willing to highlight the memo using green to indicate the “much” that you identified as “fair to debate” and red to flag the “portions” that you deemed Code-of-Conduct violations?

Read the full piece at The Atlantic.

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