Google on Friday told employees to focus on work instead of heated debates about politics with colleagues at the internet company, which has long been known for encouraging people to speak their minds.
Updated workplace guidelines for “Googlers” called on them to be responsible, helpful, and thoughtful during exchanges on internal message boards or other conversation forums.
“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the updated guidelines stated.
“Our primary responsibility is to do the work we?ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics.”
The updated guidelines pointed out that comments made internally by Google employees, no matter the intent, could go public and be wrongly attributed to the company, leading to mistaken impressions.
“We’re all free to raise concerns and respectfully question and debate the company?s activities — that’s part of our culture,” the guidelines read.
“Take care not to make false or misleading statements about Google’s products or business that could undermine trust in our products and the work that we do.”
Managers or those moderating forums were directed to intervene if the policy is violated, revoking comments, ending discussions, or even taking disciplinary action.
US President Donald Trump revived his criticism of Google this month, referencing a fired engineer who claimed the internet giant was working against his re-election.
The comments were the latest from the US leader alleging, without evidence, that Silicon Valley giants distort searches and social feeds to suppress conservatives.
Trump has assailed Google on several occasions, claiming bias against him and his supporters.
Google repeated its response that these claims are baseless.
“The statements made by this disgruntled former employee are absolutely false,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement, referring to the fired engineer.
“We go to great lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in ways that don’t take political leanings into account.”
In recent years, Google employees have challenged the company on issues including sexual harassment in the workplace; bidding on contracts with US defense or immigration agencies; and the potential for tailoring its online search engine for use on China’s heavily censored internet.
Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’
Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.
Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.
In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.
"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."
Trump says ‘many options’ on Iran response
US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has "many options" in addition to military strikes against Iran and that details of newly announced sanctions will come within 48 hours.
Asked by reporters about a possible US attack on Iran, Trump said "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that."
He explained that by "ultimate option" he meant "war."
Trump said that the specifics of sanctions he announced earlier would be made public "over the next 48 hours."
US ally Saudi Arabia says Iran was behind a missile or drone attack setting ablaze major oil facilities last weekend.
Bermuda braces for Hurricane Humberto
Residents of the tiny British archipelago of Bermuda battened down the hatches on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Humberto, a major category 3 storm packing fierce winds and punishing rain.
The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center put the center of the storm about 225 kilometers (140 miles) west of Bermuda at 1800 GMT, with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour.
The core of the large storm was expected to pass to the northwest of Bermuda later in the day or overnight, dumping as much as 15 centimeters (six inches) of rain. A heightened storm surge is possible.