The Google Syndrome: The company should become a generic term for today’s acute political mania.

Daniel Henninger:

It may be time to take the big G out of Google. The company called Google has turned itself into a generic metaphor for our politicized times. In addition to being the name of a U.S. technology company, “google” should become a lowercase word for a psychological syndrome—such as attention-deficit disorder, paranoia or dissociative identity disorder. A person with google disorder would be diagnosed as being in the grip of an uncontrollable political mania.

During the company’s early years, in keeping with what it called its culture of “openness” and the notion that employees should “bring their whole selves to work,” Google allowed thousands of internal message boards to proliferate. This must have seemed like a good idea at the time since Google employees are supersmart and presumably full of interesting, innovative thoughts.

Over time, the conversations on these text-based message boards turned toxic—as they do on message boards everywhere—with participants carving each other up in paroxysms of resentment and retribution. As the Journal reported last year, Google basically turned into a political nut house.

Google employees quickly sorted themselves into subsets with names such as Googlers for Animals, Black Googler Network, Activists at Google, Militia at Google, and Sex Positive at Google.

A few weeks ago, in attempt to do something about this epidemic outbreak of google syndrome, Google released a statement called “Community Guidelines,” a set of directives that are supposed to explain to the company’s more than 100,000 employees—known as Googlers—how they should talk to each other.

Many taxpayer supported K-12 school districts use Google services, including Madison.