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Yesterday, the European Parliament voted in favour of the infamous “link tax” and to build more firewalls on the Internet, obsessed with censoring any material that might infringe on copyright. In so doing, perfectly legal uploads would most certainly become collateral damage of the nearsighted robots that are supposed to enforce this.

The EU is quick to point out that this will not affect “small” companies, in practice meaning ones with fewer than 50 employees. That is hardly any comfort, and WordPress.com for instance has 779 employees at the time of writing this. Should everyone with a blog now start looking over their shoulders?

Mozilla (the folks behind Firefox) has more details on the situation before the vote, and where we are after the vote.

As for Sweden, here’s how the voting went: (Socialdemokraterna form the current government here, together with Miljöpartiet)

For:

Name Group in the European Parliament Group in the Riksdag
Aleksander GABELIC S&D Socialdemokraterna
Jytte GUTELAND S&D Socialdemokraterna
Anna HEDH S&D Socialdemokraterna
Olle LUDVIGSSON S&D Socialdemokraterna
Marita ULVSKOG S&D Socialdemokraterna
Soraya POST S&D N/A

Against:

Name Group in the European Parliament Group in the Riksdag
Fredrick FEDERLEY ALDE Centerpartiet
Jasenko SELIMOVIC ALDE Liberalerna
Cecilia WIKSTRÖM ALDE Liberalerna
Kristina WINBERG ECR Sverigedemokraterna
Malin BJÖRK GUE/NGL Vänsterpartiet
Lars ADAKTUSSON PPE Kristdemokraterna
Anna Maria CORAZZA BILDT PPE Moderaterna
Christofer FJELLNER PPE Moderaterna
Gunnar HÖKMARK PPE Moderaterna
Max ANDERSSON Verts/ALE Miljöpartiet
Jakop DALUNDE Verts/ALE Miljöpartiet
Linnéa ENGSTRÖM Verts/ALE Miljöpartiet
Bodil VALERO Verts/ALE Miljöpartiet

Abstentions: none.

Appears not to have been present:

Name Group in the European Parliament Group in the Riksdag
Peter LUNDGREN ECR Sverigedemokraterna

Sources:

 

UPDATE 2017-08-09, 18:19 UTC: I just thought it was worth mentioning that the raw document (the one which includes sources) can – at least for now – be found by simply searching for “google memo” on Google News, as shown at the bottom of this post. Hopefully this means that significantly more people will get a more nuanced picture of things.

(This is a follow-up to my previous blog post on the same topic.)

To see the memo in full – with sources! – please go to: diversitymemo.com

Before you read through the media responses to this memo, please check out the following articles, or you may be missing key points here:

Now, to the “fun” part. Do you see your favorite media news outlet in the list below, perhaps?

Since there’s seemingly so much agreement out there, it must mean they’re all on to something… right?

WRONG. Read the articles above, please.

See if you can spot a trend… (I’ve left out the links, since I’m lazy and I’m only looking at the titles here anyway.)

Here we go:

ABC News: Google fires employee behind controversial anti-diversity memo
BBC: Was Google wrong to fire anti-diversity memo author?
CBS Miami: Google Engineer Fired For Sexist Memo
CNBC: Why it may be illegal for Google to punish that engineer over his now viral anti-diversity memo
CNN: Google CEO condemns anti-diversity memo
Forbes: Google Fires Anti-Diversity Memo Writer, Drawing Ire In Right-Wing Circles
Fortune: Read Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Letter About the Controversial Anti-Diversity Memo
Fox News: Fired Google employee who wrote anti-diversity memo threatens to sue; legal expert says he doesn’t have a case
Gizmodo: Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google
Motherboard: Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’
MSNBC: ‘Recode’ Editor: Google’s Anti-Women Memo Hurts Tech Industry
Newsweek: Who is James Damore? Alt-Right Furious After Google Fires Engineer Over Anti-Diversity Memo
Reuters: Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo
The Guardian: Google reportedly fires author of anti-diversity memo
The New York Times: Google Fires Engineer Who Wrote Memo Questioning Women in Tech
The Sun: What was in the Google anti-diversity memo and who is its author James Damore?
The Telegraph: Julian Assange offers job to fired Google employee who wrote anti-diversity memo
The Verge: Google fires employee who wrote anti-diversity memo
TIME: Google Has Fired the Employee Who Wrote an Anti-Diversity Tirade, Report Says
ThinkProgress: Google fires employee responsible for 10-page sexist screed
USA Today: Engineer behind Google anti-diversity memo confirms firing: report
Vox: Google has fired the engineer whose anti-diversity memo reflects a divided tech culture
Washington Post: Decoding the ancient logic of the Google Bro
ZDNet: Google fires anti-diversity engineer

And yet, the memo is in actuality pro-diversity. It makes one wonder why the false talking points are parroted so eagerly…

These were quite arbitrary picks, there were simply too many articles along the same lines, so I had to stop at some point.

Now, some news outlets go a little further…

Huffpost: Here’s Why I’m Not Reading The Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Memo

Yeah, OK, “he’s a bad guy, because I said so! Boohoo!”

Very mature, thanks…

But that’s clearly not strong enough, perhaps this author has something to learn from Wall Street Journal? In a piece titled “Memo to a Google Engineer”, the subtitle reads:

“Hey, shut up. Google is fighting the diversity furies and you’re not helping.”

This opinion piece, as it turns out, seems to actually be defending James Damore (subscription required, so I don’t have access to the full piece), but they could work on their wording as well…

Clearly, a vast amount of this supposed “reporting” is not very useful, so, please, RTFM (politely translated as Read The Fine Memo), check out the source material, and make an informed opinion of your own.

Partial Google News screenshot from August 9 – the second link goes directly to the raw PDF:

Resized

UPDATE 2017-08-09: the memo is available via diversitymemo.com as well.

A Google employee wrote an internal document (not so internal now…) criticizing how the company treats their employees and people who apply for a job there.

This person has since been reported as being fired, though Google won’t confirm this, saying they “can’t comment on individual employee cases”. So while the timing is not in favor of Google in my view, it’s possible he was fired for some unrelated reason. I’m not speculating too much on this either way.

That aside, let’s focus on the memo linked to above, and it’s quite a read.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai responds in a memo of his own:

First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.

He does not go on to say what “portions” or “harmful gender stereotypes” he is referring to.

I find the way that Google and the media is treating this employee is lacking, to say the least. I’ve seen this being caricatured, strawmanned (is that a word?) and worse. By all means, go ahead and criticize the memo if you will, but get the facts straight, and if you’re going to make claims about the document, have the decency to actually present it in the first place!

Gizmodo at least reproduces the memo, “in full” they say, and then go on to say in passing that “two charts and several hyperlinks are also omitted”.

Yes, I suppose 32 links to sources are technically several. (That’s without counting the half dozen internal links on top of that.)

SHA-256 checksum of the PDF:
ef5f91368d61e7076e61ef7493e88f2ae45cf5f7cb7b03d66c167fd2346bbc7b

Thanks to excerpts from Secular Talk, I learned of an Intercept interview where Ralph Nader addresses the decline of the Democratic Party in the USA, sharing his deep insight in great detail. While the poor performance of the Dems is most obvious in recent years, he traces its roots to the 1970s.

As illustrated in the interview, the fundamental flaws of US politics today are difficult to root out. There are many lessons to be learned here, in the US and elsewhere.

One quote of many: (deliberately out of context – read through the article!)

[A] soft tone, smiling … You can say terrible things and do terrible things as long as you have [that] type of presentation.

 

Feral Interactive released their port of DiRT Rally for Linux this week.

Clearly this is an advanced and major title, so in my mind this settles the question whether Linux is an alternative for people who want to play car games.

Samsung has built an ice skating rink next to a USA court house.

It’s outdoors.

It’s in Texas.

All of 25,000 people live in that town.

Why is it there? It might have something to do with patents, as John Oliver explains.

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