Inside Google’s Microaggressions Newsletter: Pronoun Problems, Soy Police, And A Deaf Person Told To Watch Her ‘Tone’
Google’s anonymous bias reporting newsletter, “Yes, At Google,” has been known about for some time, but details have been few and far between. For the first time, The Daily Caller can reveal what gets talked about on the monthly microaggressions report.
Googlers who choose to do so may receive the “Yes, At Google” newsletter. The listserv’s description says it is a “curated monthly newsletter of anonymized incidents of micro-aggressions & micro-corrections, collected from the anonymous form at go/yes-at-google. Anyone can join, but membership is required to view posts (see go/yag-faq). Contact fos-diversity-council@ with feedback or to get involved.”
The newsletter began in 2016 as the private initiative of one Googler. It grew over time and its existence was first reported by Bloomberg in May 2017. At that time, about 20% of the company’s workforce was on it and it went out weekly. Today it is a monthly newsletter with an editorial board.
The editor of the newsletter is Heather Cain, the leader of Google’s Respect@ program. Respect@ is a human resources initiative begun in 2015 which, according to the New York Times “includes a way for employees to anonymously report complaints of inappropriate behavior by co-workers.”
“In ~August 2017, Heather Cain who co-leads the Respect@ and go/respectadvisors initiatives, came on board to program manage the effort,” reads a document shared with The Daily Caller.
“She developed the educational scenarios we shared in past issues, and set up an Editorial Board of various functions including HRBPs, Equity Diversity, Inclusion and Integrity (EDII), Benefits, REWS, Communications etc. to help drive fixes based on submissions. She helped the YAG editors by providing a sounding board, followed up on serious issues that required deanonymization (a requirement of workplace monitoring policy), and chased down follow-ups. She did all this in addition to her actual job.”
In other words, the “Yes, At Google” program has gone from being a bottom-up initiative to one with significant backing from company management.
So what does it look like? The three newsletters shared with the Daily Caller cover the summer of 2018. Each of them has a theme. The theme of the June and August newsletters is ‘workplace environment,’ and the theme of the July newsletter is ‘thoughtful discourse.’
The newsletters provide insight into both genuinely troubling human resources issues and the prevalence of left-wing discourse within the company. Most items are submitted by Googlers, except where otherwise noted.
In particular, there are three instances at the New York office that seem to indicate a pro-PRC bias on the part of certain employees there. A Taiwanese flag was vandalized and criticism of the company’s cooperation with the Chinese government was tarred as racist. Selections from the three newsletters are provided below.