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Google Cancels Meeting on Memo After Employees Fear for Safety

Sundar Pichai. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was all set yesterday to address the lengthy, maligned memo that led to the firing of its author James Damore, but canceled the meeting out of an abundance of caution.

This week, questions submitted to Pichai on an internal forum surfaced externally, and alt-right websites and social-media accounts began publicly naming Google employees, putting them on the receiving end of online harassment. Milo Yiannopoulos posted screenshots of the Twitter bios of eight self-professed Google employees, even more screenshots were floating around 4chan’s /pol/ board. The dozen or so people identified are but a fraction of Google’s 60,000-plus workforce.

While not strictly doxing, the posts led to an alt-right mob mentality that contributed to Google’s decision to postpone the session. In a message obtained by Recode, Pichai wrote to employees:

We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward. But our Dory questions appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally. Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be “outed” publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall.

He ended his message telling employees to “stay tuned.”

Google Cancels Meeting on Bad Memo