Recently, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has taken significant hits in sales.
In the first three months of this year, Alphabet reported $36.3 billion in sales, compared to the $37.3 billion estimated by analysts.
Alphabet also lost $1.7 billion in the first quarter when the European Commission fined the company for “abusive” advertising practices in March.
After the announcement, Alphabet’s stock fell by seven percent in after-hours trading.
So, why is Alphabet losing ground? Well, analysts are pointing to the various controversies that Google has gotten embroiled in as of late.
Here’s a quick recap of them:
Google’s employees protested the company’s military contracts. Over 3,000 employees signed a protest letter against Google’s machine learning algorithms to help drones identify and track for the US Department of Defense.
Employee protests occurred over Google’s Dragonfly project with China. The project is designed to help the Chinese government to track searches.
Workers walked out of Google to protest how the company handled recent sexual harassment cases. They protested the lack of action by executive members of the company in response to sexual harassment incidents at the company.
YouTube, which Google owns, has also come under immense fire when the service allowed live streaming of a shooter. The inability to police the site’s content has made many people and countries question the accountability of hosting sites such as YouTube.
Recent criticizing has also occurred over its Sensorvault database. The database allows police departments across the US to use location data when tracking criminal investigations.
There has also been significant controversy surrounding Google’s artificial intelligence ethics board, made up of experts in certain fields pertaining to AI. Google received backlash for who they chose for the board, in particular, Kay Cole James, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who was found to have anti-trans and anti-immigrant biases. Google disbanded the board after a single week.