Don't Be Evil
"Don't be evil" is the informal corporate motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 (or slogan) of Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

, originally suggested by Google employees Paul Buchheit
Paul Buchheit
Paul Buchheit is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He was the creator and lead developer of Gmail. He developed the original prototype of Google AdSense as part of his work on Gmail. He also suggested the company's now-famous motto "Don't be evil" in a 2000 meeting on company values...

 and Amit Patel at a meeting. Buchheit, the creator of Gmail
Gmail is a free, advertising-supported email service provided by Google. Users may access Gmail as secure webmail, as well via POP3 or IMAP protocols. Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta release on April 1, 2004 and it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007, though...

, said he "wanted something that, once you put it in there, would be hard to take out," adding that the slogan was "also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent." While the official corporate philosophy of Google does not contain the words "Don't be evil", they were included in the prospectus
Prospectus may refer to:* Prospectus * Prospectus * Prospectus * Parkland College's newspaper...

 (aka "S-1") of Google's 2004 IPO
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

 (a letter from Google's founders, later called the "'Don't Be Evil' manifesto"): "Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." The sixth point of the 10-point corporate philosophy of Google says "You can make money without doing evil." The motto is often incorrectly stated as "Do no evil".

"Don't be evil" is said to recognize that large corporations often maximize short-term profits with actions that may not be in the best interests of the public. Supposedly, by instilling a Don't Be Evil culture, the corporation establishes a baseline for honest decision-making that disassociates Google from any and all cheating. This in turn can enhance the trust and image of the corporation that outweighs short-term gains from violating the Don't Be Evil principles.

While many companies have ethical code
Ethical code
An ethical code is adopted by an organization in an attempt to assist those in the organization called upon to make a decision understand the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and to apply this understanding to their decision...

s to govern their conduct, Google claims to have made "Don't Be Evil" a central pillar of their identity, and part of their self-proclaimed core values.

Criticism of Google
Criticism of Google
Criticism of Google includes possible misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others' intellectual property, concerns that its compilation of data may violate people's privacy, possible censorship of search results and content, and the energy consumption of its servers as well as...

 often includes a reference to "Don't be evil".

Avoiding conflicts of interest

In their 2004 founders' letter prior to their initial public offering
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

, Larry Page
Larry Page
Lawrence "Larry" Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Sergey Brin, is best known as the co-founder of Google. As of April 4, 2011, he is also the chief executive of Google, as announced on January 20, 2011...

 and Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google, one of the largest internet companies. , his personal wealth is estimated to be $16.7 billion....

 explained that their "Don't be evil" culture prohibited conflicts of interest
Conflicts of Interest
"Conflicts of Interest" is an episode from the fourth season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5.-Arc significance:* Garibaldi begins to work for William Edgars. In the process Garibaldi is reintroduced to his ex-girlfriend, Lise, who is currently married to Edgars.* The "Voice of...

, and required objectivity
Objectivity (journalism)
Parent article: Journalism ethics and standardsObjectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. Journalistic objectivity can refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these qualities.- Definitions :In the context...

 and an absence of bias
Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of alternatives. Bias can come in many forms.-In judgement and decision making:...

Chris Hoofnagle agrees that Google's original intention expressed by the "don't be evil" motto is linked to the company's separation of search results from advertising. However, he argues that clearly separating search results from sponsored links is required by law, thus, Google's practice is now mainstream and no longer remarkable or good. According to Hoofnagle, Google should abandon the motto because:

External links

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