Google coins new mantra amid Twitter Talk

April 3, 2009

Google famously made “don’t be evil” its official mantra a few years ago.

But a new, 7-word phrase may well end up Google’s most-used, unofficial slogan, as company officials take turns repeating “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation” in response to reports that Google is in talks to buy microblogging startup Twitter.

The topic inevitably came up at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday morning, where Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra was on stage for a keynote presentation.

Gundotra, who oversees Google’s mobile applications, said he was a big fan of Twitter, which lets people broadcast 140-character text messages to a network of friends. He also confessed that he was enjoying the online debate/blog-battle about whether his company was preparing to acquire Twitter.

Michael Arrington, of the blog TechCrunch, initially reported that Google was in late-stage discussions to buy Twitter, but rival blogger Kara Swisher later said on AllThingsD that no such deal was in the works.

“I’m friends with both Michael and Kara and I’m enjoying their conversation,” Gundotra said.

When it came to helping resolve the matter though, Gundotra proved of little help, offering but a slight variation on the mantra.

“Google doesn’t, as a matter of policy,” he said, “comment on rumor or speculation.”

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