Google Dropped The Term "Don't Be Evil" -- And Maybe It Wasn't An Accident


During the Facebook data scandal fallout, I spoke on-air about data brokering. Ironically enough, within a few days, Facebook severed ties with the data brokers to help pool their data and package it for maximum profit. 

Now the focus has shifted. On Friday, a leaked 2016 memo from a Facebook executive emerged and there's been another firestorm for Facebook ever since.  

Here's the key controversial excerpt: Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools. And still we connect people. The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good. 

There's not really any ambiguity about the message is there? 

Facebook had been erring on the side of "connecting" people. What's even more notable in the context of this revelation is the level of understanding we now have regarding how much information they had and have on everyone on their platform. 

Is it possible that whole terror cells could have been revealed had Facebook simply been proactive and erroring on the side of doing the right thing rather than the de facto good position of erroring on the side of terrorists for example?  

How about in the context of today's events like the signs by Nikolas Cruz, the Austin bomber, etc.? This all reminded me of Google's original motto that they ironically dropped in 2015 - "don't be evil". 

The founders were smart people in 2000 when they created Google and realized it's potential to perpetuate evil if their creation was successful. Isn't it a touch ironic that they dropped it in 2015 as data brokering and the profiting off it was reaching new heights? 

Maybe they agreed with Facebook's position at the time or maybe they realized they weren't living up to the motto and didn't care. 

Either way we have a clearer idea about how and why technology has been successfully used to perpetuate evil. To many behind it, it's the lessor evil, to a global agenda - more money - more control, or whatever it is that makes them tick. As President Trump is picking a fight with Amazon right now, this backdrop is a reminder about why it's important to have parity in the marketplace. As I cited with my previous data brokering story.... Facebook had been number one in the world, Google number two, Microsoft number three but Amazon was fourth and rising fast. There's a lot more to all these stories than meets the eye.  

What are the actual intentions of those running these companies? We don't really know do we? Is it just a coincidence that Google dropped their motto? Why did Bezos really buy the Washington Post while continuing to create the world's largest retailer? To be continued.


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