Basecamp’s ban on political talk prompts wave of employees to quit

Fingers type on a laptop keyboard.
Basecamp, which makes productivity software, has told employees to avoid discussing political issues unrelated to work on internal chat channels.

More than a dozen employees of Basecamp said they’re resigning as a result of a controversial new policy banning discussion of political issues at work.

The employees made their departure announcements in Twitter posts Friday, four days after Basecamp’s chief executive said conversations about social and political topics were a “major distraction.”

Basecamp is a small developer of productivity software, but its move this week drew a great deal of attention. It sparked outrage among workers in the technology industry and beyond, who argued that people need outlets in the workplace to discuss complex issues.


In the tweets, several of the employees cited the same reason for their departures: “recent changes and new policies.” A representative for Basecamp didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The episode carried echoes of a similar controversy at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which saw about 5% of its employees take buyouts last year after CEO Brian Armstrong implemented a policy prohibiting discussions about politics at work.