Maybe Google isn't as LGBT friendly as everyone thought.
It has been reported recently that Google has complied with a government request in Indonesia to pull LGBT apps from their Play Store. It appears that, though “homosexuality and gay sex are legal in Indonesia,” the government and cultural norms frown on LGBT behavior. The government has requested, and Google has complied with, removing some LGBT apps from their Play Store in order to discourage homosexual behavior.
At the time of this writing it appears that the Indonesian government has requested up to 73 LGBT apps be removed from availability to the Indonesian people in Google's Play Store. It is unclear how many have been removed, but it appears that at least some of the apps have already been yanked.
I'll admit that I'm perplexed by news that Google is complying with a government request to yank LGBT apps from their Play Store. I thought Google was a “tolerant,” “inclusive” company that championed the views of the sexual revolution. I thought Google openly mocked and blacklisted anyone that dared to disagree with their corporate code.
Wasn't it Google that called for the firing of James Damore, the former engineer that dared to express views not shared by Google? Wasn't it Google that openly mocked conservative values, and felt free to blacklist conservatives from their company campus? Wasn't it Google that supported every conceivable lifestyle, including people identifying as fictional beasts and buildings? I was certain that it was Google that made clear in the Damore case that “intolerance” against individuals (except conservatives) would not be tolerated or supported.
I wonder how the employees feel about pulling LGBT apps from the Play Store. Do they sit around in meetings sharing an understanding nod and look of approval because, after all, this is Indonesia? Do they give the Indonesian government a pass because they are the government and have the right to govern as they see fit?
It has been reported that the Indonesian government recently forced several transgender women to cut their hair and wear men's clothing to show their disapproval of transgenderism. Does anyone at Google consider that removing the LGBT apps will be a sign of support for the governments actions?
Or maybe, just maybe, Google is a corporation with profit as its first priority and the bottom line as its main concern.
First of all, let me say that I fully support Google acting in the best interest of the company. If the directors of this corporation believe it best to pull apps from the Play Store in order to stay competitive in other spaces in Indonesia, so be it. That's business and they should be free to do so.
What I am having a hard time with is Google bending their knee to Indonesia while virtue signaling in the U.S.
Anyone that read even just the highlights of James Damore's complaint against Google would conclude the company has no patience whatsoever for any behavior it deems lacking in tolerance or inclusiveness. You can identify as a fictional beast or a building and Google will let you give a talk about your “alternative lifestyle” But if you dare suggest differences between genders exist, you will quickly be ridiculed, tormented, and eventually fired. After all, this is Google, a place where (almost) every opinion and viewpoint is supported (as long as it toes the company line).
But here we see clear evidence that first and foremost Google is concerned about profits. What other reason could there be for Google to behave in such an intolerant, anti-LGBT manner? By yanking apps from the Play Store, Google is lending their world-wide brand to the Indonesian government's treatment of LGBT people. There can be no doubt Google would never support such treatment, much less condone and participate in it here in the U.S. But that's because Google knows they don't have to.
This decision is not brought about by corporate policy, culture, or conviction. This decision has been made purely on the basis of profit. The decision and underlying reason should be supported, as any business has the right to do what is best for business. But if Google is going to operate under this premise – profit – it needs to stop acting holier-than-thou and firing people for their personal views.
What Google is doing, essentially, is supporting a government position on the issue of LGBT rights that Google would call intolerant. If the U.S. government took a similar position as the Indonesian government, Google would quickly oppose the position and refuse to comply with any request to support the position. But, Google is supporting and aiding the Indonesian government in their position. This is nothing short of hypocrisy; and all in the name of money.
Corporations are, first and foremost, for-profit organizations. They seek to make money. Their shareholders want the corporation to be profitable so some of the profits flow through to them. With this in mind what Google is doing makes perfect sense. Ideologically, though, Google is acting inconsistently and hypocritically with regard to its position on LGBT rights. In this behavior Google proves it cares less about its ideology than it does about profit.
Google would do well to remember that “a house divided cannot stand.”