The phrase has been so ingrained in Google sphere that a version of it was WiFi password for shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters.
Leading internet company Google has quietly modified its corporate Code of Conduct removing the “don’t be evil” clause from its opening line. The change reflected sometime between April 21 and May 4.
Interestingly though, the Alphabet (parent company of Google) website says that the Code was last updated on April 5, 2018. But an archive of the page on April 21 and the code currently uploaded on the website are different, suggesting that it was modified sometime after April 21.
Before April 21, the Google Code of Conduct started with the famous clause which has been the mainstay of the company’s corporate philosophy for last 18 years. First pointed out by Gizmodo, the phrase has been so ingrained in Google sphere that a version of it was WiFi password for shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters.
Here are the relevant sections of the Google code of conduct which existed before April 21:
“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 honourably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.
The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put “Don’t be evil” into practice. 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. We set the bar that high for practical as well as aspirational reasons: Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Trust and mutual respect among employees and users are the foundation of our success, and they are something we need to earn every day.
The paragraphs stated above have been modified now and “don’t be evil” does not appear in the initial paragraphs. However, the clause does appear at the end of the code, as before.“And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!” it says.