A French appeals court has ruled against Google in a case about the appearance of negative words in Google Suggest. According to the French legal site Legalis.net, and reported by BigMouthMedia, Google has been ordered to remove the word arnaque — which translates roughly as “scam” — from appearing as a Google Suggest term on searches for the Centre National Privé de Formation a Distance (CNFDI).
Google argued that its Suggest tool is automated and based on the use of an algorithm applied to actual search queries. Google won the original lawsuit, but the appeals court didn’t agree. It ruled that Google, by allowing humans to report offensive terms, does offer human control over the terms that show up in Suggest, and that the inclusion of arnaque is offensive.
No word if Google will appeal the French decision or comply with the order to remove the suggested term. We’ll update this post if we get a reply from Google on that question.