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CNN.com Removes ‘Anti-Diversity’ from Its Headline on Fired Google Employee

CNN has changed their headline about ex-Google employee James Damore, who wrote a memo criticizing the company’s diversity policies, after initially characterizing it as “anti-diversity.”

Damore was fired from Google Monday after he released his 10-page manifesto titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” that outlined why men are better suited for technology than women, for biological reasons. In it he outlines that women are more agreeable, have more anxiety, and have less stress tolerance. Throughout it Damore tries to rationalize the gender gap, and in the end calls Google to “de-moralize diversity” and “de-emphasize empathy” when looking at Google’s biases.

After multiple coworkers spoke up, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai sent out an email firing Damore and saying parts of his memo “violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes.”

Damore had been with Google since 2013, working on infrastructure for Google’s search product.

“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” Damore said in an interview with the New York Times. 

Damore told Reuters that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” and that before he was fired, he submitted a complaint, including where he claims “it’s illegal to retaliate against an NLRB charge.”

No official legal action has been taken so far, but it looks like CNN may be trying to avoid a defamation lawsuit. The Atlantic did a story calling out numerous news sites for using the term “anti-diversity” to describe the manifesto, which they analyzed as balanced and substantive. The memo actually starts with:

“I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem.”

However, despite CNN taking out “anti-diversity” out of this story, their earlier story on the matter still includes “anti-diversity manifesto.”

Earlier Tuesday, Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange offered Damore a job with him via Twitter, saying that “censorship is for losers.”

[image via screengrab]

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