i Editor's Letter: Do no evil


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The Independent Online

Can a corporation be evil?

None has “we do evil” in its mission statement the way Google espouses “do no evil”.

However, I am also sure many of us can think of a few companies that should: some banks leap to mind, energy providers, airlines, train and care-home operators, fast-food and supermarket chains.

But let’s say - hypothetically – a giant ticket-selling organisation had mastered its competition such that its name was synonymous with buying tickets.

Let’s imagine that the masterful ticket-seller also owns a ticket-exchange subsidiary, where you can buy and sell tickets legally for those same events, and “it” gets a cut.

A hypothetical i reader wants to buy tickets to Coldplay at the O2 Arena. That reader would be mindful of their failure to get tickets to – hypothetically - the Red Hot Chili Peppers, despite going online at the designated time on the ticket-seller’s site, with credit cards and passwords ready and going through the squiggly security words nonsense at 9.30am exactly, only to find dozens of tickets at the ticket-exchange subsidiary for twice face value at 9.33am exactly.

That i reader - having been even more prepared this time round, being simultaneously on their laptop and iPad at 9.30am, and going through the same false-hope squiggly codeword nonsense – might be forgiven for becoming suspicious at having no luck at all only to find tickets at twice face value again on the exchange site at 9.33am. They might wonder if this isn’t just legalised touting.

On behalf of all i readers I’d like to ask the real ticket-selling plc to explain to i just why readers shouldn’t think this; what they should do to be able to buy tickets at face value at the designated time; and why the whole ticket-selling process isn’t actually evil?