SAN FRANCISCO — Anti-Google ads have appeared near Google’s offices in Venice, Calif.

The ads, which were first spotted by some on Twitter, call out Google’s response to a memo that went viral last week after it lambasted the company’s efforts to increase the number of women, African-Americans and Hispanics in technical roles. 

In one of the ads, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is pictured underneath late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Next to Jobs is a picture of the Apple logo with the company’s famous slogan “Think Different.” Next to Pichai is the Google logo but instead the text reads “Not So Much.”

Another ad displays the word “Goolag” in the same type and color as Google’s logo, a reference to Soviet camps in which as many 30 million prisoners are estimated to have been starved or worked to death between 1918 and 1956.   

It is not clear who is behind the ads, but the content echoes defenses of the memo’s author, James Damore, who was swiftly fired from Google after the memo was made public. His firing has since become a lightening rod for the alt-right, a relatively new offshoot of conservatism that includes pundits and media personalities who espouse white supremacism, conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, and are savvy about using social networks to reach followers. 

Since his firing, that movement — which gained visibility during the 2016 presidential campaign and Donald Trump’s election — has christened Damore as a hero of the movement on social media.

Damore’s alt-right defenders are seeking to mobilize outside of social media by organizing a nation-wide protest. The protest, called #MarchOnGoogle by its organizers, will be held on on five Google campuses on August 19, they say. 

According to the protest’s website, organizers are also planning a “meme contest” along with the physical protest.

For his part, Damore has embraced his newfound online celebrity. He has not responded to interview requests from USA TODAY, but gave his first interviews to two alt-right YouTube personalities.

Damore’s newly created Twitter account, which has the handle @fired4truth, includes a profile picture that shows him wearing a t-shirt with the same “Goolag” logo displayed on the ads. Additionally, he has retweeted several prominent alt-right figures and an article from Breitbart that have vehemently come to his defense.

In the memo, which was posted on an internal Google mailing list, Damore opines that women are not equally represented in tech in part because of “biological differences” between men and women.

In an interview after his firing with Bloomberg TV, Damore doubled down on the memo’s contents and said that he isn’t sexist.

Google said Damore was fired because violated the company’s policies by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.”

 

 

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