15th Anniversary: Hooking Google to the Evil Meter

Few companies set out to do bad deeds, but most won’t rule them out. Google was supposed to be different. When Josh McHugh profiled the young corporation in January 2003, it had one clear and concise rule: “Don’t be evil.” Ah well, times change. CEO Eric Schmidt recently “clarified” that policy, saying it was simply meant as a conversation starter. “We don’t have an evil meter,” he groused. Here, you can borrow ours!

7.1 Philanthropy
Creating a foundation devoted to fighting poverty, researching renewable energy, and protecting the environment. Two can play at this game, Mr. Gates.

5.3 Coddling Staff
Establishing on-site day care for lil’ Googlers as an employee perk. (Memo to HR: Keep eyes peeled for particularly bright toddlers.)

-2.4 Moral Triage
Giving Brazilian police access to private photo albums on Orkut to assist an investigation into child pornography. The lesser of two evils is still pretty lame.

-4.8 Immaturity
Responding to Privacy International’s last-place ranking of Google with “U R BIAS!”

-6.7 Screwing Staff
Raising the cost of onsite childcare to ridiculous levels in order to have the best day care on Earth. $57,000 per year? Seriously, Sergey?

-8.3 Censorship
Instituting keyword filters per request of the People’s Republic of China. Further “clarification”: Google company policies apply only within the continental US.

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