On Saturday, the technology blog Motherboard reported on a document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” that had been posted by an unnamed male software engineer on a company mailing list and had subsequently gone “internally viral.” By the end of the day, another tech blog, Gizmodo, had published the complete 3,400-word text of the document, still without revealing the identity of the author.
The substance of the document, which criticizes Google’s affirmative-action programs for their anti-conservative bias while asserting that “I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity,” reveals a certain (possibly prevalent) mindset among a certain (possibly large) segment of the tech industry. It drew sharp responses from other tech-industry observers – see, for example, this piece by Ian Bogost for TheAtlantic.com and this one by Yonatan Zunger on Medium– and from Google’s own vice president for diversity, integrity, and governance Danielle Brown.
An excerpt from the Google email.
But I’m not here to analyze the arguments. I’m here to ask: What should we call the document?