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Home > Blog > Google Expands 'Don't Be Evil' to Philanthropy
Out of Our Minds
Thursday, February 23, 2006 10:58 AM
Google Expands 'Don't Be Evil' to Philanthropy
Evelyn Rodriguez on Making a Difference

Dr. Brilliant said Google's motto, 'Don't be evil,' is what brought him to the company. 'It's very hard to find another company that starts out on a conscious path to do good and not do evil,' he said.

You might have already seen the WSJ story on Google's new head of philanthropy.

I was really impacted by a multinational company I recently visited in Sri Lanka's statement that they don't just write a check. They get involved, engaged themselves hands-on because these projects transform and impact the employees. (Said company doesn't toot its own horn about its philanthropy or CSR either.)

The company has said it would consider operating some activities in its focus areas of global poverty and energy and the environment, rather than simply funding others to do such work.

In addition, Google's desire to go beyond funding non-profits echoes the Omidyar Foundation's broader emphasis to include 'socially minded' business and public policy too.

And perhaps encourages a few more companies to higher aims as well.

p.s. Yes, I'm aware of the Google and China censorship issue. But that doesn't negate this program's worth.


Harold - 2/25/2006 6:29:38 PM
Perhaps Hilter was a bit of a streach. I was a bit agitated. Do No Evil is well intended, however Google lives in more than just a handful of grey areas. The Chinese situation is only one.

Granted, applaud the intent. It should not be a standing ovation though.
Evelyn Rodriguez - 2/24/2006 5:52:32 PM
Good points. But comparing Google to Hitler is a stretch. To be honest, I've not met a single business nor NGO for that matter without flaws. I've been disillusioned and disheartened by many foundations I met with (just returned from citizen journalism trip in Thailand & Sri Lanka on tsunami recovery). My friend David reminded me that 'If it's human, it's flawed.' The more I can accept and clearly perceive - without judging - my own human frailties, I notice the more I grow, advance, improve.

I've written about and critized Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's China censorship policy on my own blog. That doesn't mean I will not praise them when they take a step in right direction elsewhere. Feedback is good.

I agree the slogan is silly. I believe it evolved from when Brin & Page were reviewing tech features in early days. To make a decision to do things one way or another, I think they used the DDE mantra to keep themselves on track. I doubt they ever dreamed Google was going to be way bigger than their Stanford lab room.

Granted, they seem to forget that should apply Don't Do Evil INTERNATIONALLY as well.

JC - 2/24/2006 12:50:42 PM
Dr. Brilliant's comment is bizarre. How many companies set out to do evil? Not many. The slogan 'Don't be evil' may be well-meant, but it has the same effect as saying 'Don't think about a white elephant.' This curious fixation on evil and their Chinese compromise might make reasonable minds wonder just where Brin and Page are coming from.
JC - 2/24/2006 12:45:31 PM
Dr. Brilliant's comment is bizarre. How many companies set out to do evil? Not many. Saying 'Don't be evil' has the same effect as 'Don't think about a white elephant.' This curious fixation on evil and the Chinese compromise might make one wonder just where Brin and Page are coming from.
Harold - 2/23/2006 4:11:10 PM
Perhaps the China issue 'doesn't negate this program's worth' as you put it, but that's dubious logic. Doesn't facilitating and being knowingly complicit with a partner and their actions make you a party to their restrictive human rights abuses? Hitler was said to love children and dogs but that doesn't wash away the other more well known activities he pursued.

I'd be more accepting of Google if they'd add 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil' to their Do No Evil pledge. The three monkeys would fit nicely into their logo as well.


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