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Google Employees Want Company to Clamp Down on Cyberbullying

A group of about 100 Google employees concerned about cyberbullying in their workplace want their employer to “tighten rules of conduct for internal forums and hire staff to enforce them,” News article by Kathy Gurcheik.

The group is proposing that Alphabet Inc., parent company to Google and its subsidiaries, adopt new policies aimed at stopping personal attacks and inflammatory conversations on internal message boards. It also wants “greater protection for employees targeted by what it views as insincere complaints to human resources used as a bullying tactic and goading.”

Discussions have become more hostile and abusive at the Silicon Valley company since one of its engineers wrote last summer that women are biologically unsuited for technology jobs. The internal document went viral and the engineer was fired. The missive and the termination sparked heated conversations, and in some cases led to internal and external cyberbullying of employees for expressing their views about the situation.

Cyberbullying can have harmful health and job-related results such as anxiety, lower job performance and turnover. In some cases, it can even lead to death. In March 2016, the body of a 31-year-old firefighter was found, after nearly a week-long search, in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. It was determined that she had committed suicide and had been the victim of cyberbullying—likely by her co-workers—for years.

SHRM Online has collected articles from a variety of sources around the world that look at cyberbullying in the workplace, and how employers can protect their employees.

Gender and Organizational Position: Predicting Victimization of Cyberbullying Behavior in Working Life

Identifying underlying factors is necessary to prevent and act against cyberbullying in organizations, according to an academic study published Jan. 29. The findings indicate “that there are reasons to particularly explore women managers’ vulnerability to cyberbullying behaviour.”

Read more…