Recode reports that Google announced new rules Thursday that govern what employees are allowed to say in the workplace. The new restrictions — which include political expression — come in the wake of accusations against Google that they are biased against conservatives, as well as criticism from politicians, the public and its employees on a number of other issues.
Although Google has historically been open about their workplace community, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in the email that revised community guidelines prohibit workers from discussing politics on Google's internal mailing lists and forums — including some that were previously devoted exclusively to politics.
"While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not," the guidelines state, adding that employees are responsible for doing their work as opposed to debating "non-work topics."
The Verge reports that it contacted Google for comment and the company suggested the new guidelines were created primarily for maintaining user trust.
"Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility," a Google representative said in a statement. "It's critical that we honor that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace."Per The Inquisitr, former Google engineer Kevin Cernekee recently claimed that Google is biased against Donald Trump. He said that the company is dead-set on doing whatever it can to ensure Trump loses in 2020.
During an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, Newsweek reported that Cernekee said Google is a "highly ideological company" that is "plagued with bias."
"They have very biased people running every level of the company," he said. "They have quite a bit of control over the political process. That's something we should really worry about."
Given Cernekee's comments, which are far from the first of their kind, it's clear why Google might want to tamp down political speech — to prevent people from associating the company with any sort of political bias.
Cernekee went so far as to say that Google attempted to stop Trump from winning the 2016 election.
Regardless, Google claimed that the new guidelines are not intended to prevent political expression. Rather, they claimed they want their employees to be able to speak up when they experience something they feel isn't right and suggest they provide their them with many means to be heard and enact change within the company.