A video of a Google all-hands meeting from right after the 2016 presidential election has leaked, unsurprisingly showing many Google leaders expressing their distaste toward the outcome…
The leaked video is of one of Google’s internal “TGiF” meetings, which stands for “Thank God it’s Friday”. In it, Google leaders from co-founder Sergey Brin, to current CEO Sundar Pichai, to CFO Ruth Porat, to Senior VP for Global Affairs Kent Walker, shared their opinions on the results.
Some, including Brin, were very clear about their feelings about the election of Donald Trump. “[This TGiF is] probably not the most joyous we’ve had,” Brin says in the video, noting that “most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad.” He added that the election “conflicts with many of [Google’s] values.”
Current Google CEO Sundar Pichai seemed more optimistic than most, though clearly not positive. “We are in a democratic system,” he said as he alluded to many of the scarier political moments in India, where he’s originally from. He noted that things “tend to work out.”
Google gave the following statement to Breitbart in response to the video, saying the personal opinions shared in the video don’t reflect how they build their products:
At a regularly scheduled all hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season. For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.
Feel free to head over and watch the video for yourself.
As an aside, a recent report from The Intercept noted that Google no longer allows employees to livestream the TGIF meetings from their own laptops following backlash about the company’s reconsideration of launching its search engine in China. For employees presumably not located in Mountain View, they can now only watch them inside designated rooms overseen by managers.
This comes as Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are weathering criticism about not showing up for a Senate hearing investigating foreign manipulation of their platform. Google also fired one outspoken employee in August after he penned a memo widely characterized as sexist and anti-diversity.
The reactions seen in this video probably aren’t that out of the ordinary, and similar conversations likely happened at many firms where political opinions heavily lean in one direction over the other.
That said, this likely won’t help Google in its attempts to prove conservative concerns about supposed political bias wrong, no matter how factually inaccurate some of those claims may be.