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Google Board Sued for Hushing Claims of Executive Misconduct (bloomberg.com)
105 points by jacquesm 43 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments



Sounds more like a basic sugar daddy relationship than sex trafficking. When I think of victims of sex trafficking, the description "highly paid" does not come to mind.


It turns out paying someone a LOT of money for sex isn't any more legal. The courts are likely to agree, if any person wanted to press criminal charges.


I think it should be. It is the people’s body and their choices. I’m surprised these puritanical laws are still on the books. It leads to weird edge cases, like that of filming being legal.


As Matt Levine likes to say, everything is securities fraud!


Yikes, this is looking pretty bad:

"Rubin was also 'alleged to have engaged in human sex trafficking': in an October 2018 lawsuit brought by his ex-wife, Rie Rubin, she claimed that Andy Rubin had multiple 'ownership relationships' with several highly paid women. In text messages produced in that case, Andy Rubin allegedly claimed that he could 'loan' these women as they were 'kinda like… my property.'"


sounds like master-slave/sub-dom relationship.

it could be related to sex trafficking, or more likely just had some fetishes with willing participants.


There was an advocate for DA/DV victims in SF who surprisingly engaged in BDSM. He got caught putting ads on Craigslist. A couple of his “mistresses” accused him of beating them.

Edit, it was a labor lawyer[1] In any event, says he it was consensual. Charges later dropped.

[1]https://abc7news.com/archive/8337736/


I assume you mean "Domestic Abuse/Domestic Violence"... DVDA is also a sex term involving one girl and 4 guys. Hard to tell from the context!


Seems like most people who own slaves could probably force the slaves to say it was consensual.


A dedicated, authorized investigator can probably work the difference out really quickly (literally in seconds in most cases, I would imagine, as soon as they speak to the "slave"), but, by contrast, there's pretty much no data we can obtain in this debate (other than a report by an authorized investigator) that will allow us to tell the difference from here.


For better or worse, paying for sex is illegal in most places regardless of consent. The law does not have a carve out for consensual slavery either. The state can decide any consent to participate in an illegal arrangement was cohersed.


> paying for sex is illegal in most places regardless of consent

Surprisingly, it isn't in most places: criminalising it is the "Nordic model" and not widespread. It's things around prostitution that are criminalised (advertising, running a brothel, pimping etc)


That’s an interesting take, has that ever resulted in a conviction you know of?


This is literally what pimping is. Andy was acting as a pimp.


I posted an earlier thread on this in case anyone is interested in the article that The Gaurdian had released:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18880603


Url changed from https://boingboing.net/2019/01/10/google-board-sued-for-90-m..., which points to this.


I thought "Big Swinging Dicks" was a purely figurative term.


This case looks like it involves master-slave/sub-dom sexual deviancy, which seems aesthetically opposed to prevailing social mores at Google, which place a high moral value on consensuality. Leaving aside who's right or wrong, innocent or guilty, I wonder if there isn't a cultural and world view disconnect between the rank and file at Google and the high ranking executives? Could it be of the same size and nature as that between the Saudi rank and file and their elites?

Many of the rank and file Google employees I know personally seem to hold with a quasi-fundamentalist fervor to the secular belief system of "Intersectionality" -- especially similar with regards to parallel mental constructs to purity and original sin, like "privilege."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AvyqUOKhGA

This case may have privilege at its core. Elites across history and cultures often adopt more permissive sexual behavior, as their position and resources enable this. It's quite common to see a disconnect between their mores and the standards of the rank and file.

(I'd much rather see social norms of "live and let live," while personally, I think keeping one's personal life simple and uncomplicated is by far the best policy.)


BDSM is .. rather widespread .. in the tech community; however it traditionally comes with a much higher awareness of the need for clear consent.

No, the clear thing here that applies up and down the hierarchy is that managers should not have sexual relations with their reports. It's not a complicated rule that people should not be put in the position of having to decide whether refusing sex will ruin their career.


Having a (sexual) relationship with reports even co-workers isn't the best idea. It can lead to thing as superficial as embarrassing interactions to acrimony and then to labor disputes (favoritism and punishment for following along or not), but it's not a crime in and of itself nor should it be. It should be frowned upon because it not only "looks" "bad" but because it can place the individual and the employer in an unenviable position.


It's not illegal, but it absolutely should be a sackable offence because it completely compromises the manager and the organisation's equal treatment of staff.


I would disagree about fireable. Do the majority of countries in Europe consider this a grave sin? I think people should be fired if something bad comes as a result, but I don't think we should prejudge the possibility ahead of time. It comes across as puritanical.


It's workplace policy in a lot of places e.g.: https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/77485/am-i-req...

The intent is not puritanical but egalitarian - against the "old days" of using employment power relations for sexual harassment and assault.


I see the benefits but I still think that unless the act results in repercussions, then the company should not exercise its right to fire for going against a social mores policy. People should be free to associate, so long as they don't do each other "harm". Now, I certainly would advocate and advise people to keep work and relationships separate.

The reason for corporate policies like that are there is only to protect the company from risk, not because they are trying to protect their workers.


I don't think you're seeing the power relations aspect.


"This case looks like it involves master-slave/sub-dom sexual deviancy, which seems aesthetically opposed to prevailing social mores at Google, which place a high moral value on consensuality."

Nominally, there is not necessarily a contradiction. One can consent to being a "sub", hence "safe words" and such.

One is free to believe that there are still potentially issues involved, or that it may still be a dangerous relationship, or whathaveyou. But I do think that it would be something that puts the question beyond the modern spin on consensuality; that set of ethics stops making sense if you start letting people mutilate the definition of "consent" any which way they please.

(Note I am speaking independent of the question of whether there was consent; as I say in another post, I don't think that question is answerable in this forum by any information we can get, other than an investigative report.)


There's nothing wrong with the sub/dom dynamic as long as it's consensual, and it's not really opposed at all to the generally liberal culture at Google (in my experience it's generally more common in liberal circles). If the relationship is with someone you work with that's an issue but any relationship with someone you work with is an issue.


> This case looks like it involves master-slave/sub-dom sexual deviancy, which seems aesthetically opposed to prevailing social mores at Google, which place a high moral value on consensuality.

Consent is a critical pillar in the BDSM community, it's the only barrier between abuse and not. Some countries do have restrictions on what you can consent to, but that's a different issue.


> This case looks like it involves master-slave/sub-dom sexual deviancy, which seems aesthetically opposed to prevailing social mores at Google, which place a high moral value on consensuality.

Pretty much every description of the cultural mores of BDSM center around consent. There are basically two formulations:

SSC = Safe, Sane, Consensual

RACK = Risk-Aware Consensual Kink

(the difference here is in just how okay people are with edgeplay, but in both cases consent is paramount)


It's a shareholder lawsuit over inappropriate compensation of Rubin (i.e. that he got money that should have been paid in dividends and the reason was personal embarrassment on the part of executives and not a desire to increase shareholder wealth). I don't see how that has anything to do with "rank and file" Google employees at all.

This sounds like you are trying to make a political point, c.f "quasi-fundamentalist fervor to the secular belief system of "Intersectionality"". I don't have a clue what that means, but it certainly sounds like you're trying to call them dumb liberals or something...


"quasi-fundamentalist fervor to the secular belief system of "Intersectionality"". I don't have a clue what that means, but it certainly sounds like you're trying to call them dumb liberals or something...

I miss the days when such people were just "dumb liberals" like me. Now, there are people who spend their time going after other people, like obnoxious religious people used to go after homosexuals. It's not the ideology which is problematic. It's the meta can be wrapped around it which seems inextricable from negative emotion, oppressive acrimony, and a desire to impinge upon other lives.

As I said before, live and let live is the best way. Don't judge, lest ye be judged. Most of all, don't project hypothetical emotional and mental states on others and engage in moral judgement and condemnation on that basis. This is precisely what accusations of "internalized" _-isms are, such pronouncements are objectively produced by adherents of intersectionality, are objectively stated in presentations of the ideology, and objectively have as little evidence backing them as accusations of "satanic influence" had from fundamental religious people during social controversies of the 80's.


I think (ironically) you're projecting things onto "intersectionality" that aren't there in the normal meaning of the term.


I think (ironically) you're projecting things onto "intersectionality" that aren't there in the normal meaning of the term.

I have direct experience of people making emotion driven, unjust, evidence-less accusations in the name of "intersectionality." Online, you can see people doing the same. In personal discussions, it's absolutely amazing the number of times someone contradicts what someone else says and comes out with their evidence-free version of what they're "actually thinking." Again, it's not the ideology per-se. It's the tribal emotion-driven meta around it which makes people behave in unproductive ways.




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