Listen: Wired gets the tea on three years of struggle at Google
"This marketplace podcast is brought to you by indeed. Are you hiring with indeed. You can post a job in minutes set up screener questions than zero in on your shortlist qualified candidates using an online dashboard and get started today and indeed dot com slash marketplace. That's indeed dot com slash marketplace and by click share an award-winning wireless presentation system with with click share and you're meeting you can share your screen instantly from any device click share instantly projects any speakers laptop tablet or phone onto a presentation screen so everyone can can work together share their ideas and create something great. That's the click share effect visit. Click share free trial dot com to learn more and sign up for your free trial. Google employees are fighting with each other and with their bosses. Is that a problem for the bottom line from american public media. This is marketplace tech demystifying the digital economy. I'm ali would google as a company has a long history of internal disagreement and activism but in recent years that internal uh-huh culture where employees are encouraged to argue with executives and with each other and to protest decisions and policies they don't like has become an external culture altered to employees have protested against google over politics hiring how the company deals with sexual harassment and business decisions like whether the company company should do business in china or make deals with the pentagon. Natasha chiku is a senior writer at wired. She wrote september's cover story about tensions at google and and we called her up for quality assurance the segment where we take a deeper look at big tech story i asked her at what point do these employees tensions become a risk to the business it just calls your focus from one area and even if all you're doing is making incremental changes to avoid bad press after a walkout when you are trying trying to compete with jeff bezos and compete with mark zuckerberg and compete with all the startups who all of a sudden in the middle of the tech backlash see an opening for themselves the idea that you have to placate your employees is certainly a distraction or that's how they view it. Are the divisions at google probably happening at every every company like are they a microcosm. Yeah i think so. I mean their internal. Social networks certainly operate like microcosm of the external social networks. I think the difference is that they have decided that google isn't listening and so they're gonna take these debates outside but we've seen somewhat of the same thing inside facebook where there <unk> our representatives who could be described as having like far-right or reactionary right politics and then people who are also on the far left i. I don't know that employees other companies feel like they're still going to have their jobs if they speak out but there are certainly those divisions happening pressure on across the political spectrum on companies from their own employees. Is this gonna be the new normal at google or do you think google is really going to have to work to change the hardest thing a company can do i know but is google going to have to work to change. Its culture in order to survive this level of distraction. I think this is definitely the new normal and i'd i'm not sure that google wants to you know they really do pride themselves on having this open internal forum for debate you know when i talked to who executive for this story and i asked like are you going to try to shut down these internal forms and they said no. It's such a huge part of our culture and i know they they would have such such an internal backlash if they tried to kind of officially clamp down so they might be trying to find ways to <hes> influence the discussion that aren't as drastic as no more <hes> mailing lesser no more google plosser no more kind of talking to the press. Natasha tico is a senior writer at wired at our website marketplace tech dot dot org. We'll have a link to her story. Three years of misery inside google the happiest company in tech and now for some related links one thing natasha who notes in her piece is that google's biggest external protests came in two thousand eighteen when twenty thousand implode walked out to protest how the company handles sexual harassment claims that was sparked partly by revelations that the company had paid android creator andy rubin some ninety million dollars for him to leave google after allegations of sexual misconduct but tika reports that despite some small changes is it google as a result of the protests. Only a few of the organizers of that walkout are still at the company last month. The second of two primary organizers meredith whitaker mccurry left google. We have linked to the internal goodbye. She wrote about leaving which was later shared on medium whitaker said she and the other woman who spearheaded the walkouts both face retaliation taliation which google denies but she also said in her post that she's leaving to work on the ethical use of artificial intelligence technology and that she feels she can't do that work at google which is a little scary and protesting is of course still alive and well inside google just wednesday employees started a petition internally early and on medium demanding google not bid on a big cloud computing contracts with customs and border patrol because of concerns over human rights family separation and and the treatment of migrant children at the border as of this writing the petition had about eight hundred supporters and we should note that it's not only google where employees are protesting company policies postseason business decisions casey newton at the verge points out that google may have just started a trend. That's now also happening. Amazon salesforce microsoft and riot games games to name a few stephanie party produced marketplace tech tro is our senior producer. Sarah brugere is our engineer. I'm ali would have a great weekend everyone <music>. This is a p._m. This marketplace podcast is brought to you by click share an award-winning wireless presentation system with click share in you're meeting you can share your screen instantly from any device no more awkward small talk or wasted time as you wait for tech problems to be fixed click share instantly projects any speakers laptop tablet or phone onto presentation screen so everyone can work together share their ideas and create something great. That's the click share effect visit. Click share free trial dot com to learn more and sign up for your free trial."