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Google search results defamed Melbourne man
xcoder




msg:4514104
 11:19 am on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google search results defamed Melbourne man

A Melbourne man has won a defamation case against search giant Google over images of him alongside well-known Underworld figures that appeared in its search results.

A six-person Supreme Court jury found Michael Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009.

When Mr Trkulja's name was typed into Google's image search, photos had showed up of him alongside gangland figures Tony Mokbel and Dennis Tanner.

Google search results also linked to a page on a now defunct website, Melbourne Crime, which had published photos of the men labelled with his name.

Read more: [theage.com.au...]




Very interesting case.

 

bwnbwn




msg:4514208
 3:08 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes it is! When you have Precedents for a ruling this will apply to other cases that are filed for the same reason. I can see this opening a flood gate.

Think of what could happen. I get Joe John to phtoshop me with 5 gals doing whatever it is posted on a free image host linked to and added to other websites I make sure it is indexed and in the serps under my name. I send Google a get this down it is ignored, make several request. Add my life is ruined , wife left me, lost my job due to the stress, etc. and etc. Keep a note of all emails. Get an attorney. This is really going to be a big problem for Bing, Yahoo, and Google.

BTW in the article he had already won 225k from Yahoo on this same issue. I wonder if Google tried to settle it but the attorney saw green and refused the offer.

Webwork




msg:4514224
 3:51 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thus ended the algo did it immunity.

Andy Langton




msg:4514233
 4:11 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mr Trkulja won a similar case against Yahoo! in March and was awarded $225,000 in damages

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4514249
 5:17 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Very interesting indeed, no longer can Google display everything from all other sites with impunity. They are indeed responsible for what they show, even if they get it from other sites, which seems right given that it already applies to everyone else.

JAB Creations




msg:4514307
 6:52 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Very interesting....blah blah typical reactions from obtuse minded people. Google is search engine, they aren't responsible for what other people post online. It's like badmouthing a librarian for making available all books including the ones you dislike. If I did not open my mind to things I was originally taught to be against I would never have grown as a person and remained obtuse myself.

What is clear is that he failed to fill out the form correctly. At best it could be argued that the form should have validation to require having a URL before being submitted however that would imply that the form shouldn't be used unless there is a relevant URL to the complaint, who is qualified to overrule every possible complaint?

It comes down to the interaction between Michael and Google as well as Michael's understanding of what he saw on Google's website and there aren't enough details to pass any judgement on Michael or Google from reading everything in that article.

- John

albo




msg:4514318
 7:09 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is search engine


JAB Creations: some interesting reading, a thread elsewhere here, "Google is committed to NOT being a search engine" [webmasterworld.com...]

Panthro




msg:4514341
 8:12 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't understand. Is his name the same as some famous gangster, so his photos were showing up in image search? Details are missing.

jmccormac




msg:4514342
 8:16 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good job Cuil didn't stick around long enough for lawsuits over this type of thing. It was broken at launch.

Regards...jmcc

zeus




msg:4514347
 8:23 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

A good feature for people like that would be the option to have everything related to a person removed from google search, so that name can not be searched. this of cause need some specifications....but would be a option for some people and google.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4514353
 8:33 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

It comes down to the interaction between Michael and Google as well as Michael's understanding of what he saw on Google's website and there aren't enough details to pass any judgement on Michael or Google from reading everything in that article.
Errmmm, I think the Australian law courts found enough details?
rogerd




msg:4514366
 8:49 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this will be appealed.

I see lots of issues if this holds up. Say I have a business and someone posts a negative story about me on a rip-off type site. I claim it isn't true and ask the site owner to remove it. They refuse, or want to charge me a large sum of money to do so. So, I go to the search engines and demand they remove it because it's not true.

How is Google supposed to sort that out? They can't determine the facts of the case. But, since I say it's not true, now I can sue Google and collect damages if they don't deindex the report?

Or, what if the report wasn't about my business but one with an identical name? It's true in reference to the other guy, but it's damaging my business, too. I come up as the first listing for "Acme Enterprises," and the second listing is "Acme Enterprises Stole My Money." Can I get it kicked out of the SERPs?

Does this give every individual and business veto power of what Google can display? That's going to be messy, at least Down Under.

incrediBILL




msg:4514370
 9:02 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think they ruled wrong here because it claims the plaintiff didn't even submit the URL of the offending content with his original complaint. His beef was with the original site that posted the image, not the search engines.

The minute anyone can sue for being defamed in the search results is the day that sites like Yelp could become neutered and dropped from the index because any restaurant getting bad reviews can claim they are malicious and file a defamation suit. I'm sure some reviews are deliberately malicious as I've seen them so this could open the flood gates.

FWIW, people that think this is a victory against Google are sorely mistaken because when any company loses a lawsuit, esp. something this frivolous, WE end up paying those big settlements. To pay these settlements Google can raise the minimum rate for Adwords, lower the percentage paid for AdSense, increase the price of Nexus products, etc. which means WE pay. Basically, this guy just took money out of OUR pockets as advertisers, publishers or investors.

Panthro




msg:4514380
 9:35 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well then let's hope no company ever loses any lawsuit, ever.

ken_b




msg:4514386
 9:39 pm on Oct 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The minute anyone can sue for being ...

Anyone can pretty much sue for anything already, at least in the USA, it's winning the lawsuit that matters.

xcoder




msg:4514467
 1:54 am on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

FWIW, people that think this is a victory against Google are sorely mistaken because when any company loses a lawsuit, esp. something this frivolous, WE end up paying those big settlements.


WE are *already paying up* way too much in ransom for our lost/stolen traffic... it is great seeing someone sticking it back to them now and then...

Just the tip of the iceberg mind you...bad karma has a way of sticking around...

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4514536
 8:14 am on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

His beef was with the original site that posted the image, not the search engines.
Was his beef not with the people who were publishing the image, in this case Google?

The minute anyone can sue for being defamed in the search results is the day that sites like Yelp could become neutered and dropped from the index because any restaurant getting bad reviews can claim they are malicious and file a defamation suit. I'm sure some reviews are deliberately malicious as I've seen them so this could open the flood gates.
Review websites are a different animal. Their reviews can generally be backed up with evidence.
bhonda




msg:4514537
 8:52 am on Nov 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I may be wrong, but wasn't a similar case won by a guy in Japan? Can't remember what though...

Bewenched




msg:4514874
 12:39 am on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Soon.....Goodbye google images.

xcoder




msg:4514876
 12:49 am on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO, this case has massive implications for the entire industry. Probably not too long now before this becomes the norm in the US and Europe...

More on this topic...

Aussie's Google win could open the floodgates

Websites that link to offensive material may no longer be able to hide behind the defence that they are not technically publishers, after an Australian man successfully sued Google for defamation.

Read more: [theage.com.au...]

indyank




msg:4514896
 3:29 am on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

To pay these settlements Google can raise the minimum rate for Adwords, lower the percentage paid for AdSense, increase the price of Nexus products, etc. which means WE pay. Basically, this guy just took money out of OUR pockets as advertisers, publishers or investors.


WoW! Is Google inevitable for ever? One can easily live without Microsoft products today. Can't this happen to Google products?

indyank




msg:4514897
 3:32 am on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Soon.....Goodbye google images.


Since Google is not committed to be a search engine for images as well, I hope that happens really soon.

diberry




msg:4515074
 3:06 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

The governments take a very different view of Google's responsibility than most webmasters do. The US Congress demanded that Google somehow just not index pirate sites - sounded simple enough to them! We webmasters know it's not. Google tried to explain to them there's no way to do that within the algorithm, but Congress' responses indicated they either didn't believe 'em, didn't get it or didn't care.

And the reason for that is you're through the looking glass once you're a monopoly. It's not illegal/bad to be a monopoly, but the tradeoff is that the government holds you to different standards than smaller businesses. What's fair to you is no longer considered; what's fair to consumers is all that matters. If Google faces a US DoJ trial like MSN did, they could well get a ruling which demands something they can't provide without entirely changing their business model. They might even decide it's better to just drop search entirely rather than try to comply (highly unlikely, I'm just saying it can get weird).

TypicalSurfer




msg:4515075
 3:17 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

To pay these settlements Google can raise the minimum rate for Adwords, lower the percentage paid for AdSense, increase the price of Nexus products, etc. which means WE pay. Basically, this guy just took money out of OUR pockets as advertisers, publishers or investors.


Or google could just comply with the law.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4515099
 4:08 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

The governments take a very different view of Google's responsibility than most webmasters do. The US Congress demanded that Google somehow just not index pirate sites - sounded simple enough to them! We webmasters know it's not. Google tried to explain to them there's no way to do that within the algorithm, but Congress' responses indicated they either didn't believe 'em, didn't get it or didn't care.
Google cannot hide behind the algo forever. If the algo does not produce legitimate results that comply with the law then the algo has to change. If they cannot make it work without defaming people then that is their problem. Take your webmaster's hat off for a minute and try to think like a normal person (or a legislator).

If you run a forum where someone posts offensive material then you cannot just allow anyone to post anything. That is unless of course you take google's approach and say that it has nothing to do with you because you did not actually post any offending material.

This may sound like a flawed analogy but in both cases the publisher allows offensive material to be published. In both cases they are not directly responsible for the material but they provide the mechanics that allow it to be published.

SevenCubed




msg:4515112
 4:28 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google has the capability to remove offending material from their index if they really need to. They had no problem doing it for Eric Schmidt's extra curricular activities. The list of suggestions that drop down on google compared to what's suggested by Bing leaves out offending suggestions.

diberry




msg:4515247
 12:35 am on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google cannot hide behind the algo forever. If the algo does not produce legitimate results that comply with the law then the algo has to change.


Exactly my point.

incrediBILL




msg:4515249
 12:45 am on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google tried to explain to them there's no way to do that within the algorithm, but Congress' responses indicated they either didn't believe 'em, didn't get it or didn't care.


I don't believe them and even if you can't automatically figure it out, you can manually do it.

Worse case all new domains need a manual review to comply with the law and the next thing you know it'll become paid inclusion which would actually stop a lot of the nonsense sites form being indexed in the first place because they won't pay their hard earned money for a domain that will most likely be abandoned in very little time.

The problem they face is that sites authorized even in a paid inclusion environment can simply change their content after being included and VOILA! you're indexing bad sites all over again.

What's going to happen is the algo will have to store a profile about each site included and if the site no longer matches the profile it will kick it back to a human to review.

In the end, thanks to frivolous litigation and bad judgements, we're back to the same situation we had with Yahoo paid inclusion, DMOZ and all the rest and perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing because it employed a lot of people manually checking sites although getting new sites listed could take weeks or months and was quite maddening.

I knew someone at ground zero in the Yahoo Directory so I just dropped an email and got moved to the top of the heap and instant approval, those were the days! Knew someone at DMOZ too! :)

Maybe the simple solution is don't index anything that doesn't have a valid basic SSL certificate and put the onus on the SSL certificate sellers to sort it all out with validation and verification.

TypicalSurfer




msg:4515363
 1:12 pm on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is always pushing the envelope in regards to what they can get away with, be it privacy issues, patent issues or in this case just plain common decency, they end up in court because they want to end up in court.

Why?

It's a strategy known as "pretend to fail". It is by design. By pushing the edge and in many cases going over the edge they invite regulation and who better to engage in the regulatory process than themselves, they'll be players at the table when these bureaucratic "fixes" are negotiated and the impact of those regulations will serve to stifle competition by raising the bar of entry into their market areas.

In the regulatory environment authored by google, innovation and competitive products will not be enough to compete with google.

You can see that strategy playing out now with various privacy and trade regulatory bodies around the world right now. They are at the stage where they "are sitting down with regulators" or "negotiating with commission members" on a wide array of issues, they are pretty close to establishing the government rule that fits into their agenda and hijacking the bureaucratic process to their favor. Who better to enforce their monopoly than hapless/compromised politicians and petty bureaucrats?

Don't be fooled people, this is how they all roll. Google is no different.

diberry




msg:4515388
 3:29 pm on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's a strategy known as "pretend to fail". It is by design. By pushing the edge and in many cases going over the edge they invite regulation and who better to engage in the regulatory process than themselves, they'll be players at the table when these bureaucratic "fixes" are negotiated and the impact of those regulations will serve to stifle competition by raising the bar of entry into their market areas.


Okay, I'm just going to follow you around putting +1 under your posts.

Just kidding, but really? This explains a lot.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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