Google wrestles with its mission statement

01/13/2010 | Financial Times (tiered subscription model)

As Google threatens to pull out of China, it's worth remembering the criticism the company took for entering the Chinese market in the first place, writes Stefan Stern. Much of the problem stemmed from a perceived clash between the company's famous mission statement -- "Do no evil" -- and its willingness to allow China to censor its search results. "Mission statements can be dangerous things," Stern notes. "Best to keep them short, simple, and more or less unarguable -- Procter and Gamble say that they are 'touching lives, improving life' -- if you have to have them at all."

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