Reddit User Claiming to Be a Google Insider Describes How the Tech Giant 'Screwed Over' James Damore

Damore discussed his lawsuit alleging that Google discriminates against workers with conservative opinions,

A Reddit user who claims to be a Google insider involved in firing former Google engineer James Damore on Tuesday spilled his guts about the internal decisions that led to Damore's termination.

Damore was let go in August 2017 after internally publishing a memo criticizing the company's "ideological echo chamber" and outlining his views on how gender differences affect females in STEM fields.

"It’s terrible what we did to him,” the user, identifying himself as TiredOfLying4Google, claimed. In a detailed post, the user described Google's disgraceful maneuverings in the Damore affair.

Damore reposted the confession on his Reddit page, commenting that the user seemed credible because he had revealed information in the post that only a few individuals at Google would know. "Whoah, this would explain a lot," he wrote on Reddit.

"It can't be fully verified, but they have intimate knowledge of the situation," he tweeted.

In the post, TiredOfLying4Google revealed that Damore was involved with Dragonfly, a secret search engine project Google was working on to comply with China’s censorship laws. Google CEO Sundar Pichai denied at a House Judiciary hearing in December that the company had any “current” plans to launch a search engine in China, but admitted that over 100 Google employees had worked on the effort. Dragonfly was reportedly shut down late last year amid internal disputes about the project. According to Damore, his Dragonfly work was not public knowledge.

“We needed to make an example of Damore,” wrote TiredOfLying4Google, who created the Reddit account on December 18. “Looking for some excuse to fire him, we spied on his phone and computer. We didn’t find anything, although our spying probably made his devices unusably slow, preventing him from organizing support within the company.”

Firing him without an NDA was a huge risk though. He was a top performer and knew too many compromising secrets, like Dragonfly, the secret censored search project in China. He had also reported several legally dubious practices in Search that still exist. Only God knows why he never leaked Dragonfly or the other issues, but I think it's because he actually cared about Google.

“I was one of about 100 employees that knew about Dragonfly,” Damore wrote in the comment section. “I also did report several legal issues in Search that they probably haven’t fixed. My phone and computer were also extremely slow after the document went viral.”

He cited some other examples mentioned in the post that aren't public knowledge, including the fact that the head of the meme-generating website Memegen is considered by Google to be an "ally" in the diversity cause and the fact that Google managers were given talking points on what to tell reporters about Damore's memo.

Damore said he didn't remember ever speaking publicly about his slow phone and computer, but a Redditor reminded him that he had talked about his phone issues during a 2017 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

James Damore "I started using Yahoo E-Mail, because people were, you know, really suspicious that Google would read my e-mail."

Joe Rogan: "Ah, wow. Did you really worry about that? That they would spy on your e-mail?"

JD: "There were some weird things happening to my phone. [...] it started rebooting after this whole controversy."

JR: "You have an Android?"

JD: "Yeah, this had never happened before, and it hasn't happened since. All these random apps started updating. It was kind of scary, but…"

JR: "So do you think they started spying on you? Is there a way to find out?"

JD: "I don't know if there's a way to find out."

Here is TiredOfLying4Google's entire Reddit post: I helped Google screw over James Damore:

I was involved in the internal decisions involving James Damore's memo, and it's terrible what we did to him.

First of all, we knew about the memo a month before it went viral. HR sent it up the reporting chain when he gave it as internal feedback, but we did nothing. There wasn't anything we could do, except admit to wrongdoing and lying to our employees. We just hoped that no one else would see his document.

Unfortunately, the memo started spreading within the company. The floodgates opened and previously silent employees started talking. To quell dissent, we: told executives to write to their employees condemning the memo; manipulated our internal Memegen to bias the ratings towards anti-Damore posts (the head of Memegen is an "ally" to the diversity cause); and gave every manager talking points on what to tell their reports about the memo. In all our communications, we concentrated on how hurt employees purportedly were and diverted attention from Google's discriminatory employment practices and political hegemony, never mind the science.

We needed to make an example of Damore. Looking for some excuse to fire him, we spied on his phone and computer. We didn't find anything, although our spying probably made his devices unusably slow, preventing him from organizing support within the company. When we did fire him, our reputation and integrity took a hit, but at least other employees were now afraid to speak up.

Firing him without an NDA was a huge risk though. He was a top performer and knew too many compromising secrets, like Dragonfly, the secret censored search project in China. He had also reported several legally dubious practices in Search that still exist. Only God knows why he never leaked Dragonfly or the other issues, but I think it's because he actually cared about Google.

Our response after we fired him was equally disgraceful. We were supposed to have a Town Hall TGIF to answer employees' questions about the controversy. However, after questions started coming in that we couldn't reasonably answer, we had to cancel it. We shifted the blame onto "alt-right trolls" and have avoided talking about it openly since then.

To control the narrative, we planted stories with journalists and flexed Google's muscles where necessary. In exchange for insider access and preferential treatment, all we ask for is their loyalty. For online media, Google's ads pay their paycheck and our search brings their customers, so our influence shouldn't be underestimated.

We dealt with his NLRB case in a similar way. People are ultimately lazy, so we found a sympathetic lawyer in the NLRB and wrote the internal NLRB memo for her. No one wanted to spend the effort to oppose it, despite it being laughably weak. Then, after Damore dropped his NLRB case and filed a class action lawsuit, we had the NLRB publicly release their memo. Our PR firms sent press releases saying "the NLRB ruled the firing legal", which was, of course, manufactured bullshit.

All of our scheming was over the phone, in deleted emails, or through an external PR firm, so we can deny all of it. Now that we've forced him into arbitration, we're close to screwing him over completely.

After reposting the piece, Damore messaged TiredOfLying4Google, asking the mysterious user to "please contact my lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon."