Google and YouTube aren’t less interested in free speech than in maintaining politically correct status.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai told his gay Google employees, aka “Gayglers,” that the company will consult “many groups, including people who have themselves experienced harassment” in order to descide future company policy. He proclaimed that “our Gaygler and Trans communities have always been a core part of Google culture,” according to The Verge, which received a copy of the June 12 e-mail.
He said, claiming they “are a source of pride for us as Googlers, and also a source of hope for people globally who don’t feel comfortable being out in their own workplaces and communities.”
He specifically thanked groups such as “Gayglers Americas Steering Committee” and “Pride@YouTube” for speaking with him on the previous day about recent controversies.
The memo didn’t mention how conservative employees feel excluded after their favorite YouTubers were banned from the platform or demonetized. Pichai mentioned how important it was to him that the staff “continue to work hard to ensure Google is a place where everyone feels included.”
The memo release came in the wake of the scandal over demonetizing conservative comedian Steven Crowder’s YouTube channel. Crowder had been accused of harassing a gay Vox journalist by making jokes at his expense.
Google employees were so outraged that YouTube allowed Crowder to retain a platform that they referred to this incident as one of the LGBTQ “crises” at the company, even though Crowder was punished.
According to The Verge, these crises were so severe that they warranted a meeting between “Pichai, YouTube product and design SVP Neal Mohan, trust and safety VP Kristie Canegallo, and chief diversity officer and head of employee engagement Melonie Parker“ with “representatives from the company’s LGBTQ groups.”
Canegallo in particular has quite the liberal history. She has served “management roles in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations” and was Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff. She has been credited with the “implementation of the Obama Administration’s most complex and consequential policy initiatives.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki apologized directly to the LGBTQ community saying “YouTube has always been a home of so many LGBTQ creators, and that’s why it was so emotional. Even though it was a hard decision, it was harder that it came from us — because it was such an important home.”
The apology was poorly received by some critics, including Axios journalist Ina Fried, who publicly asked "are you really sorry for anything that happened to the LGBTQ community? Or are you just sorry they were offended?"
Their policy may undergo rapid changes. Pichai mentioned that the powers that be are
“already taking a hard look at the harassment policies and will do this in consultation with many groups, including people who have themselves experienced harassment.”