By Andre Jones
Google software engineer James Damore was fired nearly a week ago after his ten page memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, was considered to be in violation of company policy prohibiting anti-diversity rhetoric in the workplace. In the wake of Damore’s termination, alt-right groups have vowed to create their own tech companies.
Many right-wing movements rely on crowdfunding platforms and cloud-based payment processing to fund their various causes, occasionally even funding their bail should they be arrested for their activities. Companies like PayPal, GoFundMe, and Patreon have all banned known members of alt-right groups.
“We’re getting banned from using payment-processing services, so we have no other choice,” said Tim Gionet, a well-known right-wing activist also known as “Baked Alaska” who was recently banned from GoFundMe for violation of its TOS. “If that’s the gamble they want to take, I guess they can, and we’ll make our own infrastructure,” Gionet said.
When alt-right personalities like Gionet were banned from using the Patreon platform – which allows users to donate to their favorite internet personalities – the company “Hatreon” was born as a crowdfunding response. Founder Cody Wilson explained the tongue-in-cheek name to Newsweek, “It’s a delightful pun. It’s meant to make fun of Patreon’s investigations of people for hate speech.”
While the idea of alt-right welcoming tech startups is picking up new steam in the wake of Damore’s termination from Google, it is by no means a new concept. After many right-wing groups were banned from Twitter in 2016, they then migrated to another social media platform called Gab. "For whatever reason, we're shying away from individual liberty, individual responsibility to this nanny-state, Big-Brother-esque forum or model of the Internet, which is really scary to me," said Gab CEO Andrew Torba in a recent exchange with a YouTube Commentator.
Richard Spencer, a very well-known white nationalist and major alt-right figure, was kicked off of Twitter last November along with several other accounts identified as “alt-right”. In a follow-up YouTube video, Spencer said, "To be honest, I don't know what I'm going to do. There's obviously Gab, which is an interesting medium. ... I think that will be the place where we go next."
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca) has threatened to throw the government’s hat in the ring after Damore’s dismissal. “I am very troubled by Google’s treatment of James Damore. You shouldn’t lose your job for telling the truth. if Silicon Valley continues with its illegal hiring practices Congress must investigate.”