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Old 7th August 2017, 11:55 AM   #1
d4m10n
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Google diversity memo

Please forgive me if there is already a thread on this topic; I couldn't find it.

Evidently a Google employee wrote up a lengthy memorandum about diversity in the workplace, from a somewhat contrarian standpoint:

http://gizmodo.com/exclusive-heres-t...1797564320/amp

I assume responses were calm and measured, presumably much thoughtful discussion ensued after the e-mail went viral.
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Old 7th August 2017, 12:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Please forgive me if there is already a thread on this topic; I couldn't find it.

Evidently a Google employee wrote up a lengthy memorandum about diversity in the workplace, from a somewhat contrarian standpoint:

http://gizmodo.com/exclusive-heres-t...1797564320/amp

I assume responses were calm and measured, presumably much thoughtful discussion ensued after the e-mail went viral.
Of course. Google is filled with smart people. Smart people, especially the ones committed to diversity, always calmly and rationally debate the facts. Just like they did at Evergreen State last Spring.
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Old 7th August 2017, 01:25 PM   #3
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Is this the thread where we poison a well in the hopes that someone, eventually, tries to take a drink?
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Old 7th August 2017, 01:50 PM   #4
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No way am I reading all of that. How about a synopsis?

As far as Google being diverse, they are very inclusive. In fact, they shipped 80 Google Maps jobs to India when I worked there. Very diverse. Whole department gone. They do care about their employees, oh yes.

Here's a comment from the bottom of the page. Deep stuff!:

Quote:
You know who thinks there are different races of people; colonialists and racists.


Humanity is one race, one species, with multiple ethnicities. This person does not see other ethnicities as being the same species as themself.
Ya, we are so doomed.
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Old 7th August 2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
No way am I reading all of that. How about a synopsis?
You're in luck! The author included a TLDR:

Quote:
I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

TLDR

*Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.

*This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.

*The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.

*Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression

*Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression

*Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
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Old 7th August 2017, 04:04 PM   #6
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Some reactions:

https://twitter.com/scalzi/status/894677235604520962

https://twitter.com/soncharm/status/894688478943903746

https://twitter.com/Spacekatgal/stat...07574415736832
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Old 7th August 2017, 04:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Is this the thread where we poison a well in the hopes that someone, eventually, tries to take a drink?
That horse has already sailed.

That ship has already left the barn.

We got to that bridge and burned it a long time ago.
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Old 7th August 2017, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
We got to that bridge and burned it a long time ago.
After you crossed it?
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Old 7th August 2017, 05:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
After you crossed it?
The jury is still out on that.

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
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Old 7th August 2017, 06:49 PM   #10
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I was very disappointed, but not surprised, by mainstream coverage, calling the memo an "anti-diversity screed" and that it argued for discrimination and other nonsense.

This article has statements from relevant scientists on the memo.

Oh, and he has been fired, again unsurprisingly.

The statement "this is why Trump won" is often joked about, but I really believe this topic and reaction to it is the explanation for the alt-right.
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Old 7th August 2017, 06:57 PM   #11
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And.....sacked.

https://twitter.com/business/status/894731590869204992
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Old 7th August 2017, 08:18 PM   #12
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Hmmm...

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
-Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
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Old 7th August 2017, 08:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Oh, and he has been fired, again unsurprisingly.

The statement "this is why Trump won" is often joked about, but I really believe this topic and reaction to it is the explanation for the alt-right.
Part of what I find so frustrating about this sort of retaliation is the blatant hypocrisy of those directly responsible, but mostly I'm annoyed with my liberal friends for failing to recognize or acknowledge the cultural problem at hand. When a memo that anodyne gets you fired, you aren't really allowed to deviate from the corporate party line at all.
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Old 7th August 2017, 08:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post

The statement "this is why Trump won" is often joked about, but I really believe this topic and reaction to it is the explanation for the alt-right.
Think it was the left side of things that got the dude his walking papers

That will be me being the one who always thought it would be cool to work at Google, who wouldn't go near the place now...........Well except for the free food and stuff..................Mmmm....free food and stuff......
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Old 7th August 2017, 09:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
The statement "this is why Trump won" is often joked about, but I really believe this topic and reaction to it is the explanation for the alt-right.

Which is a weird-ass argument for appeasement, because when these people have significant influence, things clearly don't get better. It's also an incredibly transparent attempt to shift responsibility away from the folks whose direct actions lead to negative outcomes ("It's not our fault! Those damn progressives made us do it!")

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Old 7th August 2017, 10:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cl1mh4224rd View Post
Which is a weird-ass argument for appeasement, because when these people have significant influence, things clearly don't get better. It's also an incredibly transparent attempt to shift responsibility away from the folks whose direct actions lead to negative outcomes ("It's not our fault! Those damn progressives made us do it!")
You don't think that saying this:

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
-Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

And then firing the memo guy... is just a touch hypocritical?
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Old 7th August 2017, 10:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
You don't think that saying this:

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
-Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

And then firing the memo guy... is just a touch hypocritical?

I understand how it might seem that way to certain people, but... no, I don't. Should Google also be encouraging, or at least accepting of, the open expression of neo-Nazi or generally racist essays disseminated through the company?

Is not doing so an example of hypocrisy, or basic prudence?

Google seems to be making attempts to significantly improve diversity within their company. Cutting loose people who are clearly not on board with that strategy does not strike me as hypocritical in the least.

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Old 7th August 2017, 10:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cl1mh4224rd View Post
I understand how it might seem that way to certain people, but... no, I don't. Should Google also be encouraging, or at least accepting of, the open expression of neo-Nazi or generally racist essays disseminated through the company?

Is not doing so an example of hypocrisy, or basic prudence?
I read it quickly, but I didn't think it was neo-nazi or racist. Maybe I missed something? Can you point out the relevant sections?

(I agree that getting fired for dissemination of racist/neo-nazi material at work would be a non-story).
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Old 7th August 2017, 10:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I read it quickly, but I didn't think it was neo-nazi or racist. Maybe I missed something? Can you point out the relevant sections?

I'm not claiming his essay contained any such material. I threw those out there as more egregious examples of opinions that would necessarily need to be accepted by your attempt at a strict application of Sundar's quote.

Quote:
(I agree that getting fired for dissemination of racist/neo-nazi material at work would be a non-story).

Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!

But seriously... Bingo. There are situations where “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone” doesn't mean allowing the expression of any and all opinions.

You just draw the line in a different location from myself and Google. Hey, look at that. Diversity!
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
I was very disappointed, but not surprised, by mainstream coverage, calling the memo an "anti-diversity screed" and that it argued for discrimination and other nonsense.

This article has statements from relevant scientists on the memo.

Oh, and he has been fired, again unsurprisingly.

The statement "this is why Trump won" is often joked about, but I really believe this topic and reaction to it is the explanation for the alt-right.
I am what you would calla leftist, and for gender diversity, but ho boy, the reaction to this memo and the firing is utterly disturbing, especially after having read it. ETA: but maybe I am biased too, I am for a 100% equality of opportunity, but view equality of outcome as bad.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:12 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cl1mh4224rd View Post
I understand how it might seem that way to certain people, but... no, I don't. Should Google also be encouraging, or at least accepting of, the open expression of neo-Nazi or generally racist essays disseminated through the company?

Is not doing so an example of hypocrisy, or basic prudence?

Google seems to be making attempts to significantly improve diversity within their company. Cutting loose people who are clearly not on board with that strategy does not strike me as hypocritical in the least.
Have you read the memo ? Comparing it to nazi speech is poisoning the well. What the memo says is neither that controversial, nor "sexist". Part of it is also supported by gender science.

What part of it do you see comparable for nazi speech (in its aberration and monstrosity?) ? Feel free to cite the paragraph.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Trumpkin trolls are out in force on those threads.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
I am what you would calla leftist, and for gender diversity, but ho boy, the reaction to this memo and the firing is utterly disturbing, especially after having read it. ETA: but maybe I am biased too, I am for a 100% equality of opportunity, but view equality of outcome as bad.
This.

BTW, here's a version of the memo with links included. Gizmodo stripped those.
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Old 8th August 2017, 01:43 AM   #24
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I've read the 'manifesto' now. It's calling for Google to take minute gender differences into account before they decide to work to bring more women into the STEM field, and also calls for safe spaces for "conservatives". In short, it's crap, and the guy obviously isn't a good fit for Google.
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Old 8th August 2017, 02:16 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
You don't think that saying this:

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
-Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

And then firing the memo guy... is just a touch hypocritical?
#

Was he a minority?
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Old 8th August 2017, 02:19 AM   #26
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If I was his manager I would asked him what this had to do with him doing his job and have at least given him a warning regarding misuse of company resources and time. (I'm assuming he didn't work in HR?)

Sackable offense - depends on his employment contract and the company actual in practice policies (i.e. not the ones in the contract that are only selectively enforced).
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Old 8th August 2017, 03:26 AM   #27
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We also don't know if he had "form".

It does seem a bit of a knee-jerk if it was a one-off.
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Old 8th August 2017, 05:25 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Trumpkin trolls are out in force on those threads.
I can see why. Firing someone for bringing up (population-level) differences between men and women is precisely the sort of authoritarian political correctness they claim to oppose.

(For once, can't say I really blame them.)
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Old 8th August 2017, 05:30 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Comparing it to nazi speech is poisoning the well.

Then it's a good thing that's not what I was doing.
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Old 8th August 2017, 05:37 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Cl1mh4224rd View Post
Then it's a good thing that's not what I was doing.
Willfully or not, that was certainly how your post came across.
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Old 8th August 2017, 05:52 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I've read the 'manifesto' now. It's calling for Google to take minute gender differences into account before they decide to work to bring more women into the STEM field, and also calls for safe spaces for "conservatives". In short, it's crap, and the guy obviously isn't a good fit for Google.
Wait, what? Conservatives have no place at Google? What are you saying here?
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Old 8th August 2017, 05:53 AM   #32
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I missed the safe spaces for conservatives passage. Can anyone else see it?
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:03 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Cl1mh4224rd View Post
Which is a weird-ass argument for appeasement, because when these people have significant influence, things clearly don't get better. It's also an incredibly transparent attempt to shift responsibility away from the folks whose direct actions lead to negative outcomes ("It's not our fault! Those damn progressives made us do it!")
I wish the internet was around in 1963 for all the "anti Jim Crow proponents are the reason George Wallace won" takes.
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:12 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If I was his manager I would asked him what this had to do with him doing his job and have at least given him a warning regarding misuse of company resources and time. (I'm assuming he didn't work in HR?)

Sackable offense - depends on his employment contract and the company actual in practice policies (i.e. not the ones in the contract that are only selectively enforced).
Its Google, all time is company time.

Remember this is the USA, there is no employment contract.
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:14 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If I was his manager I would asked him what this had to do with him doing his job and have at least given him a warning regarding misuse of company resources and time. (I'm assuming he didn't work in HR?)

Sackable offense - depends on his employment contract and the company actual in practice policies (i.e. not the ones in the contract that are only selectively enforced).
I bet they have a mission statement somewhere that the employee always has to consider diversity.
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:42 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I bet they have a mission statement somewhere that the employee always has to consider diversity.
Mission statements aren't employment contracts. And certainly in the UK you couldn't get away with any such clause in a contract - or rather have it stand up to challenge. Anti-discrimination clauses in an employment contract will usually just be an enumeration of the consequences of the legal rights folk have.
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:47 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Mission statements aren't employment contracts. And certainly in the UK you couldn't get away with any such clause in a contract - or rather have it stand up to challenge. Anti-discrimination clauses in an employment contract will usually just be an enumeration of the consequences of the legal rights folk have.
Which is entirely separate from why it is still an appropriate response to a manager who has likely directed him to think about diversity. (Indirectly or directly).

But this is proof that Google doesn't actually care about diversity. If they did, they would actually refute the claims in the letter. To simply fire him doesn't actually address if he is right or not.
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Old 8th August 2017, 07:33 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Which is entirely separate from why it is still an appropriate response to a manager who has likely directed him to think about diversity. (Indirectly or directly).

But this is proof that Google doesn't actually care about diversity. If they did, they would actually refute the claims in the letter. To simply fire him doesn't actually address if he is right or not.
It would be stupid, indeed insane, for the management of a huge company to enter into a public debate with every employee who disagreed with a goal or an established policy of the company. This is doubly true for an area as political as this one. And do you believe that it would simply end with the rebuttal by the company? Clearly there would be a response by the ex-employee and his supporters, which would require a further rebuttal by Google, and so on. Is this type of highly political back and forth on a unresolvable debate what a large company wishes to be sucked into? It would only further divide the personnel within the company and further alienate at least some percent of the costumer base.

It would also significantly impair the ability/authority of the management to set policy in general. Can you imagine a company having to publicly refute every concern raised by by any employee in regard to basic policies of the company?

Last edited by Giordano; 8th August 2017 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 8th August 2017, 07:44 AM   #39
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
It would be stupid, indeed insane, for the management of a huge company to enter into a public debate with every employee who disagreed with a goal or an established policy of the company. This is doubly true for an area as political as this one. And do you believe that it would simply end with the rebuttal by the company? Clearly there would be a response by the ex-employee and his supporters, which would require a further rebuttal by Google, and so on. Is this type of highly political back and forth on a unresolvable debate what a large company wishes to be sucked into? It would only further divide the personnel within the company and further alienate at least some percent of the costumer base.

It would also significantly impair the ability/authority of the management to set policy in general. Can you imagine a company having to publicly refute every concern raised by by any employee in regard to basic policies of the company?
If they don't think they can win the debate, they have no place telling people they are right. It doesn't matter the cost or the harm.

They based their diversity message off of something. If it isn't BS, they should at least cite it.

Last edited by BobTheCoward; 8th August 2017 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 8th August 2017, 08:04 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If they don't think they can win the debate, they have no place telling people they are right. It doesn't matter the cost or the harm.

They based their diversity message off of something. If it isn't BS, they should at least cite it.
They don't have to debate anyone. It's their policy, as long as it is legal, the only ones they have to justify it to are themselves.
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