Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ From Code Of Conduct

Kyle Perisic | Contributor

Google has removed its famous motto “Don’t be evil” three times from the preface of its code of conduct, nearly 18 years after introducing it.

The Alphabet subsidiary company used the phrase three times in the preface before removing it and once at the end of the code. The final line of the code still says the motto once: “And remember … don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!”

The original “Don’t be evil” slogan was removed between April 21 and May 4, Internet Archive shows. (RELATED: ISIS Uses Internet Archives To Spread Propaganda, Report Finds)

The old preface began, “‘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,” and was changed to “The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put Google’s values into practice.”

More than 3,100 Google employees signed an open letter in April to their employer and 12 resigned in protest after the company refused to cut ties with the Pentagon and end its controversial artificial intelligence program that it is developing for them called Project Maven.

“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war … We cannot outsource the moral responsibility of our technologies to third parties,” the letter said, citing the contract violates Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto.

“Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology,” the letter said.

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