Google & Comics

Rachel Kraus:

Former Google engineer Manu Cornet describes his time at Google in two phases. First, there were “glitches in wonderland.” Then, there was “disillusionment.”

Those two descriptions are actually the sub-headings for Cornet’s two volumes of comics he has published about his former employer, which he called Goomics. Though Cornet was an engineer, he also spent 11 of his 14 years at Google drawing comics about employees, quirks, culture, and, eventually, larger societal and ethical issues facing the company and its workers. Some of those topics included Google contracts with government agencies like ICE, making a search engine for China’s government that complies with censorship laws, and more.

Chronicling those issues allowed Cornet to reflect on his place at Google, and prompted him to make a change. Cornet recently quit, and has taken a new job (at Twitter, a company with whom he says he has fewer ethical qualms). He is now the latest big tech employee — including employees at Facebook and Amazon — to publicly resign from their positions in protest of the company’s overall behavior. 

“As the years passed by there were more and more things to have ethical qualms about that the company was doing at a higher level,” Cornet said. “I had to look at the bigger picture and think that maybe I would be better elsewhere.”

Many taxpayer supported K-12 School Districts use Google Services, including Madison.