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Why the Google walkout was a watershed moment in techND


Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, Wednesday November 7 2018

At 11 a.m. local time last Thursday, more than 20,000 employees walked out to protest the company’s history of protecting executives accused of sexual harassment. For two years, regulators, lawmakers, academics and the media have pushed Silicon Valley to alter its ways. But outsiders have few points of leverage in tech. Protests by workers are an important new avenue for pressure; the very people who make these companies work can change what they do in the world. In Google’s case, the organisers used Google’s own collaborative tools, and leveraged its open company culture to create a wide-ranging movement. ”We have an incredibly engaged group of people, and we aren’t going to stop escalating this,” said Claire Stapleton, a marketing manager at Google-owned YouTube who created the internal discussion forum that organisers used to plan the walkout. “The group isn’t really going to back down from this or a host of other things. The walkout was not like a blowing-off-steam exercise.”

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