Google on Thursday canceled a scheduled company town hall meeting at which executives planned to discuss a memo controversy. The cancellation came after employees said they were concerned about their safety and online privacy.
Alphabet's Google on Thursday cancelled a company-wide meeting scheduled to discuss the controversy over a memo opposing diversity policies, the company said. It cited concerns about personal attacks on employees from the far-right.
Alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday posted images on Facebook taken from social media profiles of several people who identified as working for Google. Some of the Google employees also identified as gay or supportive of diversity efforts.
"Looking at who works for Google," Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook. "It all makes sense now."
The company meeting was called to discuss the fallout of Google's decision on Monday to fire an engineer, James Damore, after he posted a memo on Google's internal network arguing that the company's dearth of female engineers was because women were genetically less well-suited to software engineering than men.
Google said Damore violated its code of conduct, and his actions advanced harmful gender stereotypes.
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in light of the right-wing attacks on his employees, any discussion of Damore's memo would be delayed.
"Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be 'outed' publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall," Pichai wrote in an internal email. "In recognition of Googlers' concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion."
He said the company was exploring other forums for the discussion in the coming days.
Damore criticised what he called "Google's left bias" and "ideological echo chamber." The alt-right and far right are defending Damore as outing what they see as politically correct group think in Silicon Valley.
In a complaint filed on Monday to the National Labour Relations Board, Damore claimed he had been subject to "coercive statements" at Google.