A Google-owned Twitter account tweeted a message that appeared to support the GamerGate movement on Thursday night. The tweet was later removed, and Google sent another message calling it a “mistake.”
The account belongs to Google Cloud Services, and usually promotes the company’s remote computing business. Google did not say whether the tweet was sent by one of its employees.
The original tweet said: “The future of gaming is in all of our hands. #GamerGate." #GamerGate is a popular Twitter hashtag, or topic, often used as a controversial rallying cry by people who say it represents a call for better “ethics in [video] game journalism.” These proponents of GamerGate have been criticized for misogyny and cyberbullying, with some violently threatening women who disagree with their views.
Google Cloud Services wrote a second tweet after 8 p.m. EST, claiming the first message was accidental and that it supported “an open, diverse gaming community for all.” Google does not support GamerGate, it said. The non-apology was criticized by Twitter users who supported the movement.
“If you supported an 'an open, diverse gaming community for all,' you would support #GamerGate,” one wrote.
Our last tweet was a mistake. Google supports an open, diverse gaming community for all. We do not support #GamerGate.
â€” GoogleCloudPlatform (@googlecloud) March 6, 2015
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether one of its employees had sent the message, or if the account had been compromised.