Google Just Made A Tiny But Deeply Concerning Change To Its Code Of Conduct


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer



Google is slowly taking over our lives. From creepy robot phone calls (that may or may not be real) to auto responses to your emails, the company gets a little bit more like The Circle every day.

For quite some time, however, we’ve been spared eternal damnation thanks to one line in Google’s Code of Conduct. In fact, ever since 2000, they’ve had the mantra. It’s pretty simple really.


“Don’t be evil.”

“The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put 'Don’t be evil' into practice,” Google used to write in its Code of Conduct. “It’s built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct.”

So ingrained was the mantra in the company, that “a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters,” sources told Gizmodo.

That hasn’t stopped a few negative headlines following the company. Last month, more than 3,000 Google employees signed a letter in protest against the company working on AI for the US military, called Project Maven, which led to the resignation of about a dozen employees.


Alphabet, Google’s new parent company as of 2015, changed this slightly when it was founded to “do the right thing”. Google kept the original, however, ensuring its employees remained in check as they considered nefarious plans for world domination.

That’s all changed now though. Because as of earlier this month, the Code of Conduct has been modified. And not being evil is no longer contained within its saintly words. Don’t despair too much though, because the final line does still contain a reference to the deleted phrase:

“And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!”

Still, we can only presume that from now on, Google is basically giving its employees free reign to do whatever evil schemes they can dream up. And we can only imagine the horror that awaits us. Nice knowing you all.


[H/T: Gizmodo]


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