Displaying items by tag: Google

Google Has Fired The Employee Who Wrote An "Anti-Diversity Manifesto"

  • Published in U.S.

The engineer had written a lengthy memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" that spread quickly among employees before being leaked to the press.


Google has fired James Damore, the software engineer who wrote a manifesto against the company's diversity policies that went viral within the company over the weekend.

 

Brian Snyder / Reuters

 


Damore was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes," he told Bloomberg on Monday night. Damore later confirmed his dismissal to BuzzFeed News.

"Google has super flexible (illegal) policies that they can twist to fire anyone they want," he said.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

On Saturday, a lengthy memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" written by Damore spread quickly among employees before being leaked to the press.

The document argued in favor of a biological basis for the difference in the number of men and women in the tech industry based on pseudoscientific statistics and assertions such as women suffering from "neuroticism" more than men. Damore's LinkedIn profile says he has received advanced degrees in biology.

Damore argued that the company should not offer programs for racial minorities or women and that "ideological diversity," — including more conservative viewpoints like Damore's — was more important than hiring more people of underrepresented racial minorities or women. Damore wrote that politically conservative Google employees faced discrimination.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," he wrote. "I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

Google executives said on Sunday that they do not "endorse, promote or encourage” the author's viewpoint. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Damore had violated the company's code of conduct.

Damore's opinions garnered both support and disagreement on Twitter:

Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post ignited an investigation into sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the rideshare company, tweeted her disappointment with his supporters

Some of Google's own engineers tweeted their disgust with Damore's opinions

Silicon Valley, and Google in particular, has faced increasing scrutiny for its treatment of women. The search giant is currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor for gender discrimination in the workplace.

One department official testified in court that the federal agency has found "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce." Google has denied the allegations.

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Can Google teach kids not to troll?

  • Published in Tech

by Heather Kelly/CNN

 

Kids are creative when it comes being cruel online.

On Instagram, they'll post a group photo from a party and tag someone who wasn't invited to make them feel bad. They use music sharing apps to cyberbully each other in the comments of a song. Kids are even on Twitter (TWTRTech30) "subtweeting" each other, making comments about people without directly using their names, just like the grownups do. 

Google wants to teach children how to protect themselves online and, hopefully, be a little less terrible to each other. 

The company is teaming up with educators and internet safety groups for Be Internet Awesome, a new campaign aimed at making middle and elementary school students into responsible digital citizens. 

The centerpiece of Google (GOOG)'s program is an engaging game called Interland. It covers how to spot phishing and other scams, good password habits, not sharing personal information, kindness and conflict resolution. The game is available online for anyone to play. 

"A lot of it is just ignorance," said Jennie Magiera, chief innovation officer for a school district outside of Chicago. "We can get to them early, [and] teach them what trolling is." 

Related: Trolls, eat cake. How one woman is taking aim at online harassers

Part of Magiera's job is making sure students and teachers "know how to use technology for good and not evil." An expert in digital citizenship tools, Magiera was an early tester for Be Internet Awesome. After getting sucked into the game herself, she was also an unexpected success story. 

"I have a master's degree and I just learned more about password safety from this game from fourth graders [than I knew before]," said Magiera. 

Using the Be Internet Awesome classroom curriculum, teachers guide students through Internet basics. Later the kids hone their skills by playing Interland. 

 

 

To cross "reality river," they have to correctly answer questions about accepting friend requests from strangers, spotting fake news, and recognizing email scams. In another level, they are on a quest to spread good vibes, nix the bad, and report bullies. 

Many adults could benefit from the lessons in the game as well. A lack of online literacy might be one reason many parents don't think to have "the talk" with their kids about online behavior. Magiera finds many parents aren't even aware that kids under 13 aren't allowed on most social media sites. Parents may also mistake their child's technical proficiency with actually understanding the intricacies of online interactions. 

"Educators and parents are the first line of defense to create responsible digital citizens," said Stacey Finkle of the International Society for Technology in Education. The organization worked with Google to make sure the game met its standards. 

More awareness and empathy can reach kids who are mean online because they don't know any better or are following a stronger personality, said Magiera. But a class can't prevent everyone from growing up to hurl insults on Twitter or in internet comments sections. 

"There are some kids who are dealing with deeper issues or challenges that cause them to bully," said Magiera. "A cyberbullying curriculum isn't going to be a high enough tier of intervention." 

 
 
 
 
 
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Google And Wonder Woman Teach Girls How To Code

  • Published in Tech

There are many initiatives and projects to teach children how to code, and many of these initiatives are aimed specifically at girls to encourage them to enter an otherwise male-dominated career. 

According to Google, about 22% of gaming developers are women. So Google has teamed up with the Wonder Woman movie to launch a new coding project that is based around the movie.

It is part of Google’s Made with Code initiative. This project will have kids code three unique scenes from the movie using introductory coding principles that will have Wonder Woman navigating obstacles and to reach her ultimate goal.

Google says that, “Made with Code, Google’s initiative to champion the next generation of female leaders and inspire them to see coding as a way to pursue their dreams, is releasing a new interactive coding project for wonder women everywhere to add coding to their superpower toolkit.”

It looks like a pretty fun learning experience for kids and while it is aimed at girls, boys can join in on the fun as well. If you are interested in checking it out, head over to Made with Code’s website for the details. Then have some fun times while learning to code.

Source Ubergizmo

 

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