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Google's decision to remove Hong Kong protester game reportedly sparks internal debate among employees
Author: Business Insider, Published on: 21 October 2019
“Google's decision to remove a game that let users play as a Hong Kong protester has reportedly ignited a debate among employees”, 16 October 2019
Google employees are engaged in a company-wide debate on the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, according to a report from Shirin Ghaffary at Recode.
… Google removed a game from the Google Play Store called "The Revolution of Our Times" that let users role-play as protesters in Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Hong Kong police asked Google to remove the game, while Google says that the game had already been flagged internally due to violating a policy about monetizing "sensitive events."
Sources at Google told Recode that the company discussed the app at its most recent all-hands meeting. The discussion reportedly sparked disagreements between employees who support the protesters, and employees who are pro-Chinese government, or feel that these discussions are inappropriate for work.
Recode reported that employees in favor of the protesters have posted messages of solidarity to Memegen, an internal message board, increasing tensions. Memes supporting the protesters have gained thousands of upvotes in the past few days. Employees also reportedly raised the idea that companies like Google are morally obligated to support pro-democracy movements…
Google did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Google recently changed company guidelines to discourage political discussions at work — the new guidelines are a direct reversal of the company's historically open culture. They read in part: "Our primary responsibility is to do the work we've each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."
[Also referred to Apple and Blizzard Entertainment]