is “don’t be evil” still google’s motto?

as of (starting) this month, tech giant google is now part of a holding company it created for itself called alphabet.

alphabet logo
a company named after letters will be in charge of a company named after a number.

a holding company controls other brands but doesn’t produce anything. advertising executive deacon webster was quoted on cnbc

the brands that will fit under alphabet — youtube, android, nest — already have a brand awareness, so it will function like a corporate halo

in other words, alphabet will be in charge of the many brands associated with google.

the brands managed by alphabet, google's parent company
the brands under the alphabet halo (

why would google do this?

lauren gensler‘s article on says

the hope is that under the new structure investors will get a clearer sense of where google is making money — and where it is blowing it.

blow in this context means waste, similar to blowing an opportunity.

driverless car don't be evil
is a driverless car something stupid to blow your money on? (google)

this move has been widely (in many places) reported on-line, with a particular focus on comparing the new company’s employee code of conduct with the most famous line from google’s 2004 employee conduct code: don’t be evil

this headline is from

Google Scraps ‘Don’t Be Evil’Vow In New Code Of Conduct

scrap means get rid of.  evil is malicious without conscience.  vow is similar to promise, but more serious.

deliver us from don't be evil
“deliver us from evil ” is a line from the lord’s prayer (the most important christian prayer) & a 2014 horror movie starring olivia munn said it another way

Google’s Alphabet drops ‘don’t be evil’ slogan, still demands honorable behavior

drop used this way also means get rid of. slogan is a phrase associated with a group or person, usually found in advertising.  and ryan whitman’s article noted

google’s quirky nature has always been exemplified by its unofficial motto, “don’t be evil.”

quirky means weird, unpredictablemotto is not totally distinct from slogan, but indicates something more profound and is probably the most common way google’s “don’t be evil” has been referred to on-line.

yolo don't be evil
yolo! is a popular motto with the youth and a popular rap by drake, lil wayne & tyga

creed is yet another way to describe don’t be evil. the said it like this

Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ creed disappears as company morphs into Alphabet

a creed is a collection of beliefs. it is also a good synonym for motto, but is probably used for a longer idea. morph into means transform, become.

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the article also includes a caption that jokes


so long as means provided that, or more basically if. it’s similar to as long as. the joke is contrasting don’t be evil with its replacement in the first line of alphabet’s code of conduct, do the right thing.

alphabet’s code says

employees of alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates (“alphabet”) should do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.

do the right thing don't be evil
spike lee‘s 1989 movie do the right thing is a commentary on racism in american society

an article on by kavita iyer observes that in terms of business ethics

the alphabet code sticks to the basics

and that

the new code of conduct is a sign that google is keeping pace with the times and letting new businesses create their own cultures, separate from google.

stick to means doesn’t vary from. keep pace with the times is an effort to stay current.


most of the alphabet employees will still be google employees, as part of the core search-and-advertising unit, which is the new holding company’s biggest division  [i.e] the “don’t be evil” phrasing is still in full effect, so it’s hard to see anything specifically changing as a result.

in full effect means it’s operating. so all the internet buzz (attention) about the demise of don’t be evil might be for nothing.

 richyrocks english on youtube

and maybe the motto was never that authentic anyway?

dr. evil & the google logo
google 404 page
do evil searches on google go straight to the 404 page?

iyer pointed out

some have mocked [google] for how close it does or does not stick to that adage, including when steve jobs reportedly called it “bullshit” in 2010.

adage is another alternative to be added to the list of motto,slogan,creed and vow. bullshit questions credibility; steve jobs didn’t believe google really tried not to be evil. it’s widely used, but it’s informal and not for every situation. be sure before u use it!

bullshit don't be evilspock calling bullshit-is google evil?

do u have a motto that u live by? or are mottos usually bullshit? do u think google is evil? share your comments under leave a reply




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