Why Google’s (unofficial) motto of “don’t be evil” ensured they would go evil

Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos. – Walter Sobchak The Big Lebowski

So Google’s slow fall into the moral abyss is once again prodded and measured by the media it’s nice to look back to where they went wrong. Well, besides becoming a corporation in the first place the quickest route to pure evil. If you are really want principled, ethical decisions, the most useful thing is to design a system that can make ethical decisions or if you rather focus on the word “principled,” you list out your principles. “Don’t be evil” says a lot about the corporate culture of Google and not really anything good. Oh sure, they’re footloose and fancy-free, casual clothes and a nice cafeteria but they’re really not sure to do with their responsibility as the most important website on Earth. Google could be good, hell they can still be good. They should list their ethics, their principles on what they think about privacy, freedom of information, the internet, etc. But that was never the game. Google needs the efforts and talents of a work force who would be uncomfortable with a regular company so Google claims to be the irregular company. In practice, Google isn’t any different from any giant corporate concern when it comes to ethics- get around anything that will mess with the bottom line. There is no reason for it to fool anyone as long as you focus on their movements, not their sandals.

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