The company released its updated guidelines on Friday, which remind employees to “be responsible,”“helpful” and “thoughtful” in all internal communications, but the new rules go further in discouraging talk of politics.
“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the new guidelines say.
Though it’s natural for a company to expect its employees to actually work rather than do battle over this week’s political controversies, Google also appears to have its own public image in mind, urging workers to only speak about the firm “with good information,” warning that they could “undermine trust in our products.”
As a Googler, your comments –wherever you make them– can have a serious impact on other Googlers, yourself and our company.
A series of recent leaks by current and former Google employees has prompted accusations of political bias and censorship at the company – from website blacklists that disproportionately target voices right-of-center, to “machine learning fairness” projects which nudge search engine results in a certain political direction. President Donald Trump waded into the fray earlier this week, accusing Google of “manipulating” voter decisions in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the 2016 election, by way of slanted search results. The tech giant has also faced charges of poorly handling reports of sexual harassment in the workplace, prompting an employee walkout in protest.
While it isn’t clear if Google’s new community standards have any connection to the recent leaks, the company does make sure to warn employees against sharing internal data or “confidential information,” as those “communications can be rapidly and broadly disseminated.”
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