Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Discriminatory highlights from hell


Stefan Molyneux is "one of the alt-right's biggest YouTube stars," according to the Washington Post. Damore's appearance only stirred things up all the more, egged on by his newfound, fair-weather friends.

Meanwhile, as Damore was being hailed as a martyr, others start digging into his life: noting that he didn't actually complete his PhD in systems biology as his LinkedIn page suggested – he dropped down to a master's, instead. His claims about being a chess champion, it turned out, were also greatly over-inflated.

A new temporary love-hate online celebrity has been born. Damore started being referred to as "the Google manifesto guy" – an unconscious but explicit recognition that no one expects to remember his name even next week. He penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He was interviewed on Bloomberg TV.

He even showed up on Twitter wearing a "Goolag" t-shirt, as in gulag, because a six-figure salary, free meals, and a ton of benefits and bonuses while living in one of the nicer corners of California is exactly what springs to mind when one thinks of a Soviet forced-labor camp.

And then, just to round out the week, Google's effort to address the issue – an all-hands meeting on Thursday – was cancelled over concerns for people's safety. Staffers feared their questions and comments raised during the meeting would be leaked online, making them targets for harassment, abuse and threats. And so started another day of news focused on this issue.

But what exactly was the issue that we have all spent a week furiously railing about?

Has anything been learnt or resolved? Or was it just another punch-up where the subject is irrelevant compared to the fact it happened? Have our online lives become the equivalent of sports tribalism where we turn up to shout at our rivals, hurl abuse, and then wander off to slaps on the back?

Nice one, Dave, nice one. You met James? Yeah, he's the one he wrote the manifesto that kicked this all off. Nice one, James, let me follow you on Twitter. ®

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