Google CEO Sundar Pichai cancelled an all-hands meeting yesterday, in an attempt to quell growing fears of online harassment.
Pichai intended to use the August 10th, 2017 to discuss the topic of diversity in Silicon Valley, while also addressing concerns raised in the wake of James Damore’s firing.
Damore is the former Google employee who published a controversial 10-page memo that accused Google of hiring based on meeting diversity quotas, instead of based on meeting Google’ engineering and development needs.
Damore’s memo also made several unsubstantiated statements regarding biological differences between men and women, claiming that women were unsuited for the kind of technical work undertaken at companies like Google.
“In recognition of Googlers’ concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion.”
While Pichai’s goal was to speak to all 60,000 employees of Google’s parent company Alphabet worldwide — including those who were unable to attend the meeting in Mountain View, California — the meeting was ultimately cancelled due to Google employees receiving harassing tweets and messages.
In a letter to employees obtained by Recode, Pichai expressed concern for the safety of his employees.
“In recognition of Googlers’ concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion,” said Pichai. “So in the coming days, we will find several forums to gather and engage with Googlers, where people can feel comfortable to speak freely.”
Since Damore’s firing, sources inside Google have told Recode that some employees are experiencing doxx attacks.
Doxxing is a term that refers to the release of official documents detailing an individual’s private life off the internet — including home addresses and private phone numbers.
Damore’s firing has sparked outrage online, and people on both sides of the diversity hiring issue have taken to places like Twitter and YouTube to express their support or condemnation for Damore and his memo.
Damore also spoke with alt-right YouTube personality Stefan Molyneux on August 8th, 2017, and has started tweeting from a private Twitter account.