Google CEO Sundar Pichai gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph in which he revived the company’s infamous motto, “don’t be evil,” which was removed from the preface to Google’s code of conduct in 2018.
Praising Google’s “strong ethical foundation,” Pichai said the phrase was still in wide use at the company today, despite revelations that the tech giant is in bed with serial human rights violators like China, and sees itself as a near-omnipotent “good censor” watching over the world’s information.
But Pichai says he remains proud of Google’s “strong ethical foundation”. “We still use ‘don’t be evil’,” he says.
“It was always an unofficial expression that we used internally at Google and we still use it today. And we always approach our work with a set of ethical standards. Given the scale at which technology works I don’t see any other way.”
The Telegraph seems to have blindly accepted Pichai’s opinion on the Masters of the Universe, writing that “more than any other company [Google] has maintained a reputation for high ethical standards and liberal ideals.”
Google’s “liberal ideals” are indeed strong. So strong that members of the company’s leadership team publicly broke down in tears after the election of Donald Trump.
The Telegraph also heaps praise on Pichai himself for his allegedly humble lifestyle.
“A strict vegetarian with a fondness for tea and long walks, he maintains a spartan office and lives with his wife and two kids in what has been described as a ‘shockingly modest’ home in nearby Los Altos.”
“With his thoughtful manner and low-key style, Pichai is in some ways the antithesis of the flashy Silicon Valley tech tycoon.”
Pichai was paid $199.7 million in 2016, his third straight year of receiving a nine-figure salary.
On censorship, Pichai told the Telgraph “The toughest problem is not everyone agrees sometimes what is problematic content – and that’s hard.”
Under Pichai’s watch, Google has worked with the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on content moderation, has blacklisted conservative news websites, and has adjusted search results on YouTube to downrank content critical of abortion, David Hogg, Maxine Waters, and the Federal Reserve.
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