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Google No Longer Believes In “Don’t Be Evil” Mantra, Finally Joins The Dark Side

Don't Be Evil.tangi bertin/Flickr

Since its founding, Google had a few central mottos that its founders abided by and one of them is “Don’t Be Evil.” This has guided the company’s actions for over two decades and one that many of its employees firmly believed in. Unfortunately, it seems Google is finally ready to cast off this mantle of goodness and become something that it once swore never to become.

This development involves the quiet removal of the motto from Google’s Code of Conduct, which housed “Don’t Be Evil” practically since the beginning. Last year, the guide to proper behavior within the company by employees still contained the mantra in a big way. Now, it can be found nowhere on the page except right at the bottom and with no special emphasis.

For some context as to how the old Code of Conduct page looked, Archive.org actually saved a screenshot of the guide, which reads: “‘Don’t be evil.’” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But ‘“Don’t be evil’” is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.”

As Tom’s Hardware notes, the mantra was not universally beloved by the tech industry. In fact, many of the industry’s most influential figures thought of it as nothing more than a marketing tactic, including the late irascible Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Even so, while the top brass over at Google might have never actually believed in the motto, it’s still a fact that many of its employees do. In fact, they believe in it so much that several actually resigned in protest over the company’s decision to help the US military make its drones more accurate.

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