(RoyalPatriot.com )- Google’s willingness to censor people, and to abide by demands from authoritarian governments to engage in censorship on their behalf, is finally receiving some backlash from its employees.
After Google and Apple both removed an app known as “Smart Voting” from its Appstore, internal Google discussions were rife with criticisms of the company for caving to the Russian government’s demands. The app was associated with Alexei Navalny, the jailed political activist and Russian opposition leader who used the app to give Russian voters an idea of the best parliamentary candidate to vote for to beat the ruling party.
Bloomberg reported that messages and images shared in internal Google forums, and on a messaging app known as “Memegen” that is used by many Google employees, contained extensive criticism on the campaign. One image shared by users showed a man reading a magazine that contained the phrase “Putin the user first.”
Another picture shared by Google employees mocked the Google slogan “universally accessible and useful.”
The Smart Voting app gave users an idea of the candidate who had the best chance of winning in parliamentary constituencies, and if used by enough voters, could have toppled Putin’s party’s parliamentary majority. But Apple and Google banned it ahead of the election.
The platforms will both likely justify their decision to remove the app by citing the Russian government’s accusation that they were engaging in “election interference” by initially refusing to remove the app.
Google has not yet provided comment on the matter, but if the company’s own employees are revolting, then surely something will have to change soon.
Or, perhaps, the employees will just get fired.