James Damore’s Twitter Profile Compares Google to Soviet Forced Labor Camps
The account has become a platform for Damore, who was terminated after his memo questioning Google’s pro-diversity policies went viral, to plead his case and retweet the opinions of his supporters. He has also used it to tweet a link to a fundraiser to “help James get back on his feet.”
On Thursday he used the account to show off his new profile photo, in which he wears a t-shirt with the word “Goolag” on it. It’s a nod to Google, his former employer, and implies that the tech company stifles free speech much the same way that Josef Stalin did in Soviet Russia.
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The tweets drew fire from many of Damore’s fellow Twitter users—and no wonder. According to data from jobs site Glassdoor, Damore likely made upwards of $150,000 working as a Google engineer. Meanwhile, an estimated 43 million Americans lived below the poverty line in 2015, with no online fundraisers to help them make ends meet. And comparing his former employer to the Gulag, the Russian agency that oversaw the Soviet labor camps, looks even worse for Damore: Workers in Siberian labor camps in the 1930s were unpaid and more or less slaves—1.7 million Russians died in the camps due to illness, starvation, or execution.