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They say Google’s security team is vigilant about physical threats and that Danielle Brown, Google’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, who has also been targeted by harassers, has been supportive and reassuring.

In interviews with WIRED, 15 current Google employees accuse coworkers of inciting outsiders to harass rank-and-file employees who are minority advocates, including queer and transgender employees.

Since August, screenshots from Google’s internal discussion forums, including personal information, have been displayed on sites including a blog run by alt-right author Theodore Beale, who goes by the name Vox Day.

Other screenshots were included in a 161-page lawsuit that Damore filed in January, alleging that Google discriminates against whites, males, and conservatives.

What followed, the employees say, was a wave of harassment.

The complaints underscore how Google’s freewheeling workplace culture, where employees are encouraged to “bring your whole self to work” and exchange views on internal discussion boards, has turned as polarized and toxic as the national political debate.

Aneeta Rattan, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the London School of Business, says organizations such as Google that want to foster an open environment have to establish norms and rules of engagement around difficult conversations.The company was the first tech giant to release its diversity numbers in 2014, but has not made significant progress since.Diversity advocates say that by trying to stay neutral, Google is being exploited by instigators, who have disguised a targeted harassment campaign as conservative political thought.Engineer Colin Mc Millen says the tactics have unnerved diversity advocates and chilled internal discussion.“Now it’s like basically anything you say about yourself may end up getting leaked to score political points in a lawsuit,” he says.Damore’s suit claims Google discriminates against whites, males, and conservatives.

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