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Meet Brian Amerige: Facebook’s aspiring James Damore

Meet Brian Amerige: Facebook’s aspiring James Damore
[Photo: Flickr user Anthony Quintano]

Remember James Damore? He was the former Google employee who was fired from the company after posting an internal document that essentially claimed women were not as biologically equipped to do engineering as men. His story went viral–being heralded by those on the right who asserted that Google was stifling free speech. At the same time, he was held up by others as an example of the toxic rhetoric facing non-white, non-male people in technology. Now it seems Facebook is facing a similar issue.

According to the New York Times, an engineer named Brian Amerige at the social network posted a memo on an internal message board titled “We Have A Problem With Political Diversity.” According to the post, the company is a “political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views.” It goes on, “[employees] know that all the talk of ‘openness to different perspectives’ does not apply to causes of ‘social justice,’ immigration, ‘diversity’, and ‘equality.’ On [sic] this issues, you can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.” It ends with proposing an internal group where people can deal with the issue.

Over 100 people have joined the group, “FB’ers for Political Diversity,” reports the Times. Other employees have reportedly gone to their managers about the group, because they found it to be offensive and intolerant to minorities.

We’ll see if this faction has the same effect Damore did with Google. Ultimately, his screed caused both a private and public firestorm. He was swiftly fired, and is supposedly filing a class-action lawsuit. Though no Facebook employees seem to have been punished yet, this does have the makings of an internal culture war. That would be monumental for the company, which has long tried to keep its internal conflicts under wraps.

Whatever the outcome, this will surely give many conservatives more reason to believe that the social network is a left-leaning echo chamber suppressing other political views. I can only imagine what the congressional inquiries will look like this time around.

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