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Google’s internal message boards are not ‘free-for-all’ anymore

The tech world is passing through a crucial phase of policy changes aimed at streamlining internal activities and enhancing customer experience. While most of the recent corporate policy revisions, including those involving Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR), revolved around protecting users’ interests, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is taking things to the next level by setting new guidelines for its employees.

“When communicating, keep in mind our Google values,” a warning sent out by the online search giant to its employees as part of the move, says it all. Apparently, those at the helm of affairs are peeved by employees resorting to unethical and disrespectful exchanges while communicating through Google’s internal bulletin boards.

Picture courtesy: Pexels

The company has gone to the extent of cautioning employees that if they fail to get their act together, strict disciplinary action including termination would be initiated. The clampdown is widely perceived as a natural consequence of several employees misusing the company’s bulletin boards for posting scandalous and negative content that is often damaging in nature.

Going forward, those who initiate discussion groups will be given the rights to delete comments that are potentially damaging. Some of the ‘nasty’ comments posted by the employees in the community message boards in recent times had triggered controversies, exposing the underlying stress in employee relations in Google.

Google cautioned employees that if they fail to get their act together, strict disciplinary action would be initiated

Last year, the company terminated an engineer named James Damore for posting a politically sensitive internal memo, which also contained a statement that claimed women are not competitive enough to do engineering jobs compared to men. The company took the action after the comments sparked a huge controversy that spread across the country.

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Things got murkier when the management recently succumbed to an intense agitation by a group of employees, who wanted the company to scrap all projects involving development of technology that would help the military make AI-assisted weapons, and agreed to their demand.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Google confirmed it has asked employees to mind their language while using the internal communication platforms and stressed the need to be inclusive and respectful to each other. It specified that henceforth incidents of trolling and name-calling by employees will be taken seriously.

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“Your actions on our corporate systems leave a footprint and may be discoverable in court or shared externally without your permission. And don’t forget that if your actions or words trigger a complaint, Google will investigate and review them,” read the statement, and urged Googlers to refrain from making comments that might disrupt the productive work environment.

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