Poor old Google. The company that is worth about $498 billion and is just trying to spread a message of not being evil can’t seem to catch a break.
First everybody gets mad at it for believing in the free exchange of ideas on the internet and backing a site called Backpage.com just because Backpage allows child sex traffickers to use their site to advertise.
Now it has Senators who are actively trying to stop that kind of behavior all in a tizzy because Google won’t send representatives to testify on just exactly why they continue to support a site that gives a platform to illegal and morally reprehensible business activities.
The Senate Commerce Committee has announced witnesses for a Sept. 19 hearing on the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, S. 1693 (115)…Representatives from Facebook or Google won’t be testifying directly and the companies will be represented by the Internet Association. Kevin Smith, communications director for [a co-author of the bill] Sen. Rob Portman, told MT that was less than ideal. “Senator Portman has made clear that companies that oppose this bipartisan bill should defend their position publicly and testify,” Smith said. “It’s disappointing that they chose to send up a trade association instead.”
I mean, what does Sen. Portman expect? First Google’s bad for secretly supporting Backpage.com, then it’s bad for not showing up to publicly support Backpage.com. Make up your mind Senator!
On top of all that, Google has also recently added to the legal complaints against it (including a free speech complaint by fired engineer James Damore) with a class-action lawsuit filed by three ladies — former Google employees — who feel the company is biased against women in their hiring and promotion practices.
Kelly Ellis, an experienced software engineer, resigned from Google in 2014 after four years “because of the sexist culture,” says the complaint.
The suit alleges that Ellis was “occupationally-segregated” into a front-end role because of a “false and gendered perception at Google that back-end software engineering is more technically rigorous, and therefore more prestigious.” Ellis observed that “almost all back-end software engineers were men.”
“I have come forward to correct a pervasive problem of gender bias at Google,” said Ellis in a statement on Thursday. “It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech.”
A really strange allegation since the company got rid of Damore and — he says — violated his speech rights for saying things Google felt were biased against women. Why can’t people see that Google cares about women and children?
Oh, and they’re also being accused of intentionally manipulating search algorithms to give preference to some political ideas over others, lending credence to the appropriateness of a recent fine against them for anti-trust behavior.
Evil corporations don’t care about free speech and good, honest businesses practices. But organizations that are NOT evil do. Google is not only not evil, it has mandated that no one else be evil either.
So they’re good. Maybe not good enough to renounce backing a child sex trafficking site, or good enough to show up and admit that they back it, or to give lady employees a reason to think they have the same avenues for success as their male counterparts, or provide honest search results.
But still good. Because they say so.