Google’s internet freedom moonshot has gotten glowing attention for its ambitious projects. But current and former employees, leaked documents, and internal messages reveal a grim reality. From a report: It’s an organization that over the years has earned a seemingly endless run of glowing press coverage: Jigsaw has been called the “internet justice league,” an “elite think tank,” and a team that is “fighting the darkest parts of the internet.” While trying to save the internet from censorship, extremists, and hackers may sound like one of the best jobs in tech, more than a dozen current and former employees of Jigsaw told Motherboard that the reality inside Google’s moonshot is bleak. […]
Current and former Jigsaw employees describe a toxic workplace environment, mismanagement, poor leadership, HR complaints that haven’t resulted in action, retaliation against employees who speak up, and a chronic failure to retain talent, particularly women engineers and researchers. Sources describe a place full of well-intentioned people who are undermined by their own leaders; an organization that, despite the breathless headlines it has garnered, has done little to actually make the internet any better. Jigsaw’s internal problems are driving away employees. Since mid-2018, a total of roughly two dozen Jigsaw employees have left, according to sources on the team. As of this week, Jigsaw has about 60 employees, according to a current employee.