Vanity Fair published an article yesterday that has all of Silicon Valley, and the rest of the world talking about Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s troubling behavior.
The article, written by reporter Adam Fisher, includes excerpts from the book “Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley,” that describe questionable behavior during the early days of Google’s inception.
Fisher’s article contains an excerpt from the book claiming Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin was considered to be somewhat of a “playboy” by several female employees.
Charlie Ayers, a former executive chef for Google, recalled in an excerpt: “He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company in the masseuse room. He got around.”
Ayers said in the excerpt that when Google’s human-resources department raised questions regarding Brin’s behavior, Brin himself suggested that he was entitled to interact with his employees however he saw fit.
“HR told me that Sergey’s response to it was, ‘Why not? They’re my employees,” Ayers recalled. “But you don’t have employees for f***king! That’s not what the job is.”
In 2013, Sergey Brin divorced his wife and mother of their two children, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, when he began a adulterous affair with Amanda Rosenberg, who was a then-27-year-old public relations manager at Google. Wojcicki was senior vice president in charge of product management and engineering at Google when the affair with Rosenberg began.
Another employee, Heather Cairns, who was only the fourth person to be hired by Google, described the culture as “sexually tense.”
“Remember, we’re a bunch of twentysomethings except for me–ancient at 35–so there’s some hormones and they’re raging,” she said.
Cairns said she also found Brin’s exploits to be disturbing.
“Oh my God, this is a sexual harassment claim waiting to happen! That was my concern,” she recollected in the excerpt.
This is not the first time Google has made headlines over claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Just this past March, a former Google engineer filed a lawsuit against the search engine giant, claiming both sexual harassment as well as gender discrimination.
Loretta Lee, during her seven years at Google’s Mountain View offices in California, alleges that male coworkers regularly “spiked her drinks with whiskey and laughed about it,” as well as coming into work and finding a male coworker hidden under her desk. The very next day, the same man “grazed her breasts” with his hand, while under the guise of looking at her name badge that hung on a lanyard around her neck, according to the New York Post.
“Googles bro-culture contributed to plaintiff’s suffering frequent sexual harassment and gender discrimination, for which Google failed to take corrective action,” the suit claims.
The engineer also claimed she received “disturbing and bizarre messages” from male coworkers, including one text where she was asked if she wanted a “horizontal hug.”
Those in Silicon Valley seem to think they’re above reproach and treat females in the workplace, as well as in the community as commodities.
The book release comes on the heels of another recent scandal involving Sergey Brin, and co-founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capital firms, Steve Jurvetson.
Over the weekend, Jurvetson posted several photos on Twitter of himself and friends sailing on a Maltese Falcon, one of the world’s largest sailboats.
According to the now deleted tweet, those sailing in the waters of Ibiza alongside Jurvetson were two female start-up founders, Khaliya, and Genevieve Lydstone, as well as Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Reports indicated that Jurvetson left Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) after an investigation uncovered “a pattern of dishonesty with women,” according to a report in Recode.
There were also accusations made that Jurvetson had behaved inappropriately and thrown wild sex parties that included upwards of 100 to 150 people.
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Facebook to Impose New Policy of Investigating Posts for “Misinformation”
Facebook has announced that the social media company will begin implementing a new policy of removing “misinformation” that “leads to violence”.
While it is currently a violation of Facebook’s terms of service to post content that directly calls for violence, the new policy will cover what Facebook is calling “Fake News”, that the company is now arguing can lead to violence.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” Facebook said in a statement. “We will begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
According to Facebook, the policy is being implemented in response to what they are calling the spread of “anti-Muslim hate speech “ on the platform. Facebook has been accused of allowing anti-Muslim rhetoric on their platforms, which some say has led to attacks against Muslims in South East Asia.
“We have identified that there is a type of misinformation that is shared in certain countries that can incite underlying tensions and lead to physical harm offline,” said Tessa Lyons, a Facebook product manager. “We have a broader responsibility to not just reduce that type of content but remove it.”
Facebook has faced a lot of criticism throughout the years for the way the social media platform has been used to spread threats of violence. However, the company has struggled to create a healthy balance between respecting free speech and banning violent content.
United Nations investigators and human rights groups have accused Facebook of facilitating violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by allowing anti-Muslim hate speech and false news.
On the flip side, Facebook has also been accused of allowing Muslim terrorists, specifically ISIS, to use the social media platform as a way to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit for the Islamic state.
The new policy will also be implemented on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
During an interview, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, said the company is working to differentiate between offensive speech and speech that incites violence. He used the example of those who deny the Holocaust, as speech that is offensive but doesn’t incite violence. Zuckerberg’s comments became a controversy in itself, causing Jewish groups to question whether he was suggesting Holocaust denial should be allowed on Facebook.
Zuckerberg later released a statement, saying, ““I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”
Posts that currently violate the company’s community standards and are removed by Facebook include “hate speech”, nudity and direct threats of violence.
Facebook has also begun targeting posts that are classified as “fake” by a group of “independent fact checkers” the company has implemented as a way to control political discourse, which many have argued is a form of Conservative censorship. If the “fact checkers” decide that a post is “fake”, the post is “downranked” on a user’s News Feed so that they are not promoted or given a lot of exposure across the social media platform.
In other words, Facebook has hired independent “fact checkers” from various left wing organizations that are deciding whether or not what a user posts is factual or worthy of exposure.
Recently, Facebook also began labeling certain posts as “fake news” by placing information boxes under those posts as a way to encourage users to look at other Facebook approved news sources.
Welcome to the information war, where you are only allowed to post and believe what the Left-wingers in Silicon Valley decide is appropriate and “factual”.
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