Google has plenty of fans all over the world for all of the good the giant does. However, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to what the company does, and this was displayed over the course of the annual I/O conference Google had.
One group named “Occupy Google” was there to protest the company not showing interest in net neutrality. On their website, they say that
“Google, with its immense power, has a social responsibility to uphold the values of the Internet. We encourage Google to engage in a serious, honest dialogue on the issue of net neutrality and to stand with us in support of an Internet that is free from censorship, discrimination, and access fees.”
The group says they aren’t against Google, but rather that they essentially want to use the company’s power to give more freedom of speech on the Internet.
A few days ago, Occupy Google set up outside the company’s Mountain View building, also known as “Googleplex” in California to attempt to gain the company’s attention. Google said they were welcomed, but could get wet from the sprinklers. Nonetheless, police came, broke up the protest, and made ten arrests for trespassing.
While all of that was going on, protesters at Moscone Center, where some I/O conference speakers were, were protesting Google lawyer Jack Halprin’s so-called eviction of tenants in an apartment building he’d purchased in San Francisco. In fact, a woman claiming to be one of the evicted tenants found her way into the conference to hold up a sign in protest. She was eventually escorted out of the keynote.
Later that day, a man came in yelling that Google was building people-killing robots. This was likely due to the company’s recent purchase of Boston Dynamics. He, too, was escorted from the conference.
Google normally experiences a lot of fandom at these conferences, but it’s always going to be a source of controversy as it is such a large and powerful company. This isn’t really all that uncommon of a thing to happen at Google, but it’s still interesting to hear the comments from these protesters!