Blockstack has launched a new ad campaign. The blockchain solutions company has put up a billboard right outside of Google’s Mountain View headquarters as a reminder of how decentralized systems are designed to leave bias, politicking and human fury behind.
Can’t be evil.
This message is now displayed outside Google HQ in Mountain View. pic.twitter.com/BVK5SPaNet
— Muneeb (@muneeb) June 19, 2019
The billboard shines a spotlight on the big dichotomy between a centralized system that is subject to censorship, a single point of failure and a biased boss, versus the promise of a decentralized system where participants can gain an economic stake in an expanding network.
Blockstack is a decentralized computing network and app ecosystem that empowers users by allowing them to control their identity and data. Google, along with many other tech giants, controls, indexes and stores billions of documents containing a wide variety of information, from emails to webpages to maps to voice commands to general information to ad preferences and browsing habits.
Google’s unofficial motto “Don’t be evil” was removed from its corporate code of conduct in 2018.
Here’s an excerpt from Google’s old code of conduct, reported by Gizmodo via the Wayback Machine archives on April 21, 2018.
“Don’t be evil.” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But “Don’t be evil” is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.
CEO and co-founder Muneeb Ali has left a trail of messages for another tech giant – Facebook – which is planning to amass more data from its users to roll out financial services, beginning with its cryptocurrency Libra.
In the wake of Libra’s unveiling on Tuesday, politicians and regulators around the globe are voicing everything from concern to condemnation.
Ali has posted an annotated copy of the Libra whitepaper to the internet where the Princeton-educated computer scientist has penciled in his running commentary on Facebook’s highly controversial project.
You can check out Ali’s notes here.