Is There a Secret Motive Behind Former Google Executive's Attack on the Company's China-Friendly Policies?

Published January 5th, 2020 - 10:30 GMT
Is There a Secret Motive Behind Google's Former Executive Attack on Its Policies With China?
LaJeunesse's remarks have been linked with his election campaign running for the Senate in Maine. (Twitter)

Google's former head of international relations took to social media to take a stand against the tech giant's policies on China and to attack the company's culture.

Using a Twitter thread and a Medium article, Ross LaJeunesse outlined details that he thinks led his push out of Google, saying that he tried for many years to recommend human rights guidelines, but they were always rejected by senior executives.

He cited the company's attempts to launch a heavily-censored search engine to serve demands of the Chinese government after a previous decision he had made in 2010 to stop cooperating with China, over increasing censorship demands that target human rights activists. 

LaJeunesse accused Google of ignoring human rights concerns in China to achieve more profit by accessing a huge market.

According to The Intercept, Google was considering plans to launch the censored search engine "Dragonfly" in the spring of 2018.

In December 2018, the project was terminated in the wake of several warnings made by former Google employees who raised concerns over the project being "a potential means through which Chinese authorities could censor web content and monitor citizens' behavior online."

In his Twitter thread, LaJeunesse also complained about Google's workplace culture, saying that female employees were often screamed at by his senior colleagues. He also talked about racist and homophobic remarks that were never addressed. 

LaJeunesse concludes that standing up for human rights, women, people of color, and the LGBT community cost him his job.

However, the former Google executive remarks have been linked to his political ambitions, since he launched his campaign to run for the Senate in the State of Maine in June 2019.

Ross LaJeunesse ended his Twitter thread by hinting at his opponent's vote for tax cuts in favor of huge Silicon Valley companies, suggesting that Susan Collins stands for 'greedy businesses' while he stands for human rights issues.

He also shared links to his campaign's donations page and used the hashtag #RossForMaine.

LaJeunesse's remarks sparked a debate across social media, with some people supporting him and expressing their shock over his allegations against the widely-celebrated tech company, while others accused him of speaking only because it "serves his political aspirations" to win Maine's senate seat next November.

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