Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

Google has released new protocol to curb employee "discussion of politics and other topics not related to work," in an attempt to avoid disruption, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters, per the WSJ: This is a meaningful change for Alphabet Inc. — Google's parent company — which previously touted its support for open communication and debate. "The tech titan helped pioneer the Silicon Valley idea of the workplace as a college-like campus." However rebellions were rising over issues like pursuit of government contracts.

What they're saying:

  • "Google said it would appoint employees to moderate the company’s famously raucous internal message board ... acknowledging that the discussions have spiraled out of control."
  • Google said in a public memo: "While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not."
  • A company spokesperson said: “This follows a year of increased incivility on our internal platforms, and we’ve heard that employees want clearer rules of the road on what’s OK to say and what’s not.”

Reality check: Google's new guidelines don’t ban political conversations at the office outright, but specify that supervisors must manage upsetting or distracting topics.

Flashback: In November, groups of Google employees walked out globally to protest how the company handled accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Go deeper

BP's in the red, slashing its dividend and vowing a greener future

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

BP posted a $6.7 billion second-quarter loss and cut its dividend in half Tuesday while unveiling accelerated steps to transition its portfolio toward low-carbon sources.

Why it matters: The announcement adds new targets and details to its February vow to become a "net-zero" emissions company by mid-century.

Women-focused non-profit newsrooms surge forward in 2020

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Women are pushing back against the gender imbalance in media by launching their own news nonprofits and focusing on topics many traditional news companies have long ignored.

Why it matters: "The news business is already gendered," says Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of The 19th*, a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of women, politics and policy.

The U.S. is now playing by China's internet rules

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.

The big picture: Today's global internet has split into three zones, according to many observers: The EU's privacy-focused network; China's government-dominated network; and the U.S.-led network dominated by a handful of American companies. TikTok's fate suggests China's model has U.S. fans as well.