Don't be evil. Fact-check the company motto.

Okay, stop for a minute. There is a wrong to be righted. If blogs are supposed to be leading the New Media, can they pull one string regarding Google? With the censorship, FBI subpoenas, and overall creepy hugeness of Google, the "evil" thing is coming up a lot. But no one gets the phrase right.

Repeat after me: "Don't be evil." Not hard to remember.

Come on, it's right there on Google's code of conduct. So why is the motto in every news story "Do no evil"? It's wrong in:

BusinessWeek
PC Magazine (By columnist John C. Dvorak! What the hell, John?)
Search Engine Journal
Fortune
MarketWatch

Look, can we just get this right? "Do no evil" is an absolute. One evil act breaks it. "Don't be evil," isn't that a lot easier to reach? Like, Google could go out and drown, say, one puppy. ONE puppy.

That's an evil thing to do, okay, whatever, but Google could be really sorry. And it'd be all "Aw, that was evil, but here's a new toy! It messages AND e-mails!" And that makes up for it. So Google is still, on balance, good.

Take-away: "Do no evil": too harsh. "Don't be evil": that's reasonable. A few drowned puppies doesn't make anyone evil.

[Image from GEvilThings]