Basecamp changed some rules about workplace politics discussions, forbidding specific subjects in their main channel in the company. Here’s a quote from Jason Fried’s blog post:
1. No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account. Today’s social and political waters are especially choppy. Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant. You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target. These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work. It’s become too much. It’s a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It’s not healthy, it hasn’t served us well. And we’re done with it on our company Basecamp account where the work happens. People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can’t happen where the work happens anymore.
DHH also follows with the message they sent internally, to try to explain the decision even more. Here’s New York Times’s take on it, as well.
Truth is every company gets to a point where some things need to be removed. I remember during the MavenHut days that we had a saying: “That’s why we can’t have nice things!”. There’s always someone trying to game the system and triggering a more strict rule, spoiling the fun for everyone. I assume this is what happened there, as well. Someone kept pushing politics, activism and the likes to everyone in the company and kept doing it even after being asked not to.
What makes Basecamp different is that they were always a champion of the people, of their epmployees. They were seen as the solution to the corporation machine. And I still think they are. But Twitter disagrees.
Other than that, have you seen the subscription form on their HEY World blogs? It’s only slightly skewed, not straight, to drive you crazy and get you to focus on the form. And, possibly, subscribe.
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