Tech giant Google has laid off several workers in its news division, a report by CNBC has said.
According to an Alphabet Workers Union spokesperson, an estimated 40 to 45 workers in Google News have lost their jobs. The spokesperson, however, added that they were unaware of the exact number.
A spokesperson of Google confirmed the development, but did not provide the figures of how many people have been laid off.
“We are deeply committed to a vibrant information ecosystem, and news is a part of that long-term investment,” the spokesperson said.
“We have made some internal changes to streamline our organization. A small number of employees were impacted. We’re supporting everyone with a transition period, outplacement services and severance as they look for new opportunities at Google and beyond.”
A Google employee on LinkedIn described those laid off as “some of the best and brightest people”.
“These are some of the best and brightest people I’ve ever worked with, and frankly, I don’t expect the calculus behind this decision will ever make sense to me. We’re definitely worse off without them,” he wrote.
The layoffs at Google News come amid a war between Israel and the Palestinian militant organisation, Hamas. Israel is preparing a ground assault in the Gaza Strip in response to a deadly attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas that killed at least 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, on October 7. Over 2,500 people have died in Palestine during Israel’s retaliatory strikes.
The was has also led to a barrage of misinformation on social media platforms. Several prominent persons have urged social media networks such as X (previously Twitter), Facebook and Instagram to take strict steps to contain false news.
Google has maintained that the layoffs will not affect the quality of work of its news division. “These internal changes have no impact on our misinformation and information quality work in News,” the spokesperson said.
In January, Googled had announced it was cutting 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce. Last month also, the company eliminated hundreds of positions from its recruiting organisation, according to CNBC.