Accusation by an algorithm / No relief yet for victims of 'libelous' Google search results
News On Japan via Yomiuri -- Oct 20
The distress of people who are labeled as criminals by the autocomplete function of Internet search engine Google is likely to continue for some time, in light of recent developments in their lawsuits against the company.
U.S. search engine giant Google Inc. has refused requests to stop displaying search results that appear to link potentially innocent people to criminal offenses, despite a spate of lawsuits in the Tokyo District Court seeking to have the firm take down misleading results.
Google intends to contest the suits in court, saying that "the suggest function and search results do not constitute defamation of character."
Google's assertion is derived from a series of precedents that state Internet search service providers do not assume responsibility for defamation by lawless websites.
In two cases against Yahoo Inc., the Tokyo District Court ruled: "The search service provider did not manage the websites. Easy regulation could also impede the public's right to information." The cases were decided in favor of Yahoo.
Google has submitted the ruling as evidence to the court, saying the requests to suspend search results do not make sense.
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