(PresidentialHill.com)- On Friday, a number of civil society organizations and Alphabet workers submitted letters to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as former CEO Eric Schmidt, pushing them to support a racial parity audit.
The letters urge the three men to support or abstain from weighing in on investor demand for an independent audit. It will be discussed at Alphabet’s annual shareholder meeting next Wednesday.
Because their shares have inflated voting power, Brin, Page, and Schmidt jointly control almost half of all shareholder votes despite no longer being involved in the day-to-day operations of Google or its parent company.
The nonbinding motion calls for Alphabet’s board of directors to appoint a third-party body to investigate the company’s adverse effects on communities and people of color both internally and internationally.
According to Alphabet’s proxy statement, shareholders should vote no on the proposal since the firm is already dedicated to achieving racial justice and is transparent about its efforts in that area.
The racial equity audit supporters point out that similar businesses like Meta and Apple have agreed to conduct their external audits.
Another signer, Ramah Kudaimi, deputy campaign director of the Crescendo Project at the Action Center on Race and the Economy, cited YouTube’s role in promoting anti-Muslim attitudes.
Kudaimi said that YouTube had been found in reports to incite anti-Muslim hatred time and time again. She cited New Zealand’s determination that YouTube videos radicalized the gunman who killed 51 people at mosques in Christchurch in 2019.
A group of five Democratic Senators wrote in a letter urging Alphabet to conduct an audit last summer.
They are concerned that algorithms will rely on data that reinforces negative stereotypes and exclude people from seeing ads for housing, employment, credit, and education or show only predatory opportunities.
Parul Kou, a Google software engineer and executive chair of the Alphabet Workers Union, said that he’d witnessed the effects of prejudice in the workplace over the years.
An audit like this would help expose a complete picture of what’s going on and, in his opinion, validate what employees already know to be true: that these aren’t isolated events but rather part of a broader trend that Google has to address.
Many await the letter where Google workers admit they are prejudiced against conservatives and demand an ideological parity audit.