05:56 GMT29 October 2020
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    A Google vice president was forced to step in to address employee "concerns" about marketing jargon which they suggested was "offensive" and even "homophobic" for its use of the phrase "family friendly."

    About one hundred Google employees upvoted the angry sentiment expressed by a coworker who stormed out of a March 2017 company event over a presenter's continued use of the phrase "family friendly" as a synonym for "household with children," the Daily Caller has reported, citing internal Google communications provided to the outlet by an anonymous source.

    According to the concerned employee, who posted his or her concerns on an internal company forum, using the phrase "family friendly" to mean families with children was a "diminishing and disrespectful way to speak," indicating that "you and yours don't count as a family unless you have children."

    "The use of the word 'family' as a synonym for 'with children' has a long-standing association with deeply homophobic organisations," the employee added, noting that they were also troubled by the phrase "suitable for the whole family," for similar reasons. 

    "Use the word 'family' to mean a loving assemblage of people who may or may not live together and may or may not include people of any particular age. STOP using it to mean 'children'. It's offensive, inappropriate, homophobic, and wrong," the employee concluded.

    About a hundred Google employees supported their concerned coworker's post, with many chiming in to thank the author and to agree that the use of the word family as described above bothered them. "It smacks of the 'family values' agenda by the right wing, which is absolutely homophobic by its very definition," one user wrote, saying such "charged language" must be fixed after it becomes clear "how exclusionary it actually is."

    Google vice president of engineering Pavni Diwanji eventually chimed in to try to allay concerns. "Hi everyone, I realize what we said at tgif might have caused concerns in the way we talked about families. There are families without kids too, and also we needed to be more conscientious about the fact that there is a diverse makeup of parents and families," she wrote. 

    "Please help us get to a better state. Teach us how to talk about it in an inclusive way, if you feel like we are not doing it well," Diwanji implored.

    This was the second leak of controversial Google internal communications reported on by the Daily Caller in recent weeks. In December, the outlet reported that company employees, including a company vice president, had debated "burying" conservative outlets immediately following Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 election. When asked for comment, a Google spokesperson stressed that the company "has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular ideology."


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    terminology, family friendly, usage, controversy, allegations, language, Google
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