Blogger Fined By French Court Because Negative Restaurant Review Was Too Prominent In Google

blog-featured A French court has ordered a blogger to pay a substantial fine and change the title of a restaurant review because the review was too prominent in search results and harmed business at the restaurant. The post has since been removed but can be viewed here (via TechDirt). The restaurant, Il Giardino, complained to the court that the critical review had hurt its business. The blogger, Caroline Doudet, had something of a following (3,000) for her blog called "Cultur'elle." This is what enabled the review to rank. According to the BBC, citing court documents, "the review appeared fourth in the [...]


Google Solicits Feedback On Right To Be Forgotten

google-advisory-council Google, which has explained that implementing the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate has been difficult, has opened up a new form allowing the general public to offer it advice. Google's new form invites Google users to submit their thoughts and feedback on the Court of Justice of the European Union mandate for the Right To Be Forgotten. The question posed by Google is: How should one person’s right to be forgotten be balanced with the public’s right to know? Google then explains in more detail: A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union found that European [...]


Google Notifying Publishers For Right To Be Forgotten Removals

Right To Be Forgotten Now that Google has been removing results from the European versions of Google in response to the EU's Right To Be Forgotten requirements, many webmasters are now receiving notifications of these removals. Last night, around 10 p.m. EST, I received a notification for a site I have verified Webmaster Tools access from. The notice read: Notice of removal from Google Search We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google: [URL(s) go here] For more information, see https://w [...]


Why Everyone In The EU May Look Like They’ve Made A “Right To Be Forgotten” Request In Google

Right To Be Forgotten Google began removing listings in response to the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate last week. As promised, Google is also disclosing to searchers when such removals have happened. However, it is also confusingly reporting that removals may have happened even when they have not. Welcome to Google's new blanket notice that all name-based searches are now subject to censorship. The Removal Notice Notices, according to a source familiar with how Google is handling these, are supposed to appear for any non-celebrity names, when someone does a search using one of Google's EU-specific sea [...]


Google Begins Removing Search Results Over “Right To Be Forgotten” Demands

eu-forgotten-forget-600 Google has begun processing and removing the approved submissions done through the right to the Right To Be Forgotten Form. The Right To Be Forgotten is a European Court Of Justice ruling from May 2014 that EU citizens could request that search engines remove links to pages deemed private, even if the pages themselves remain on the internet. Those requests are now being removed from the search results. Here is a screen shot of the disclaimer for the search results for [max mosley] in Google UK: It reads: Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. [...]


Bing Says “Right To Be Forgotten” Request Info Coming Soon

mistakes-forget-forgotten-erase-600 The EU's new Right To Be Forgotten doesn't just apply to Google. Microsoft's Bing search engine has to obey it, as well -- and Microsoft says today that it expects to provide information on how to request removals "soon." In a short help file page that went up today, Bing said that it is working on a system for how those in the European Union can request removals. Here's Bing's full statement: We’re currently working on a special process for residents of the European Union to request blocks of specific privacy-related search results on Bing in response to searches on their names. [...]


Right To Be Forgotten Requests Keep Coming, Now 41,000

EU Google As of the end of last week there were roughly 12,000 requests that had been officially submitted to Google under Europe's judicially created "right to be forgotten" (RTBF) rule. Google launched an online form last week to field the requests. According to the Wall Street Journal the 12,000 have now turned into 41,000. That's roughly 10,000 a day since the form went live. While the volume and pace are decreasing somewhat from last week, the numbers coming in remain brisk. Google could be faced in a few weeks with several hundred thousand requests from 28 countries, creating a major hea [...]


China Engaged In Total Censorship Campaign Against Google

google-china-featured The cat and mouse game between China, Google and the internet continues. Today and tomorrow are the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Fearing another anti-government uprising, every year at this time China cracks down on its citizens' ability to access information about the event online. However this year, China is going to greater lengths to block Google, in particular. According to the New York Times the Chinese government has taken Google censorship to new levels. It appears that all or substantially all the company's services are being blocked, not just search: In a [...]


How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer

google-eu-featured Google has taken a big step forward in complying with the European Union's new "Right To Be Forgotten" that was established after a court ruling earlier this month. The company has created a new form allowing those in the EU to request takedown of URLs they dislike. Removals will only happen for EU-versions of Google, and there will be disclosure in Google's results when listings are dropped. How The Form Works [caption id="attachment_192887" align="alignright" width="353"] Google's Right To Be Forgotten Form[/caption] You'll find the new form here. It requires people to select one [...]


Actress Sues Google For Indexing Porn Search Results Tied To Her Name

google-legal-cash-featured Maria Belen Rodriguez is an Argentina-born model, actress and TV personality who now lives and works in Italy. She successfully sued Google and Yahoo in 2006 in her native country, alleging that her likeness was wrongfully appropriated by porn sites and then indexed/republished or disseminated by search engines. There was an alleged sex tape involving Belen Rodriguez (in roughly 2011), which is either the source or a source of the porn-related search results tied to her name. Apparently the porn sites that have damaged her reputation were not sued originally. The precise legal claims [...]


Google: The European Court Is Really Telling You To Be More “Relevant”

Google legal So, it finally happened. After years of people telling me that "Europe" will do nothing about Google and me saying that one day "Europe" will probably bite back, it did. "Europe" bit off a whole chewy chunk of Google and all other search engines in just one surprise and relatively unexpected verdict. The hysteria surrounding the case has reached all corners of the press. "Freedom of speech destroyed," they say. "Criminals are already asking for removal of their information," they say. Even Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is distraught. But yes, this is a big deal. It has certainly left some mem [...]


The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” In Google Works

EU Google Depending on what you read, a "Right To Be Forgotten" court ruling in the European Union this week means that now anyone can ask for anything to be removed from Google, which will soon collapse under an overwhelming number of requests. In reality, it's far more limited than it sounds, though the ruling does raise serious concerns. Here's a Q&A on how things really will work, as best we can tell. NOTE: Since this article was written, Google now has created a process for removals. See our follow-up story: How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer Is i [...]


States Threaten Action If Google Doesn’t Delist “Illegal Sites”

google-legal-cash-featured According to the Washington Post, 24 state attorneys general are trying to pressure Google to discontinue ads and the indexing of sites they argue teach or enable criminal activity. In particular, they continue to pressure Google to eliminate advertising connected to the sale of illegal or fake prescription drugs. The attorneys generals' complaints were initially aired in a December 2013 letter to Google General Counsel Kent Walker and then a follow-up letter sent in February 2014. The December letter lists the following complaints and concerns: These issues include: (1) Google's moneti [...]


US Court Says Baidu Has Free Speech Right To Censor Search

baidu-600 Late last week, Chinese search engine Baidu succeeded in gaining dismissal of a lawsuit by pro-democracy activists based in New York (Zhang et al. v. Baidu.com, Inc). Plaintiffs had sued in the US and argued that Baidu improperly blocked them from seeing content on the search engine. Specifically, according to Reuters, the plaintiffs said that people in the US couldn't access content (including their work) advocating greater openness and democracy in China. Among other remedies, they were seeking $16 million in damages. Ironically, the US District Court judge said that Baidu's right [...]


Microsoft: We Don’t Censor Search Outside China

bing-china-600 Bing censors search results in China in accordance with Chinese law. But does it do so in the US and elsewhere around the world for Chinese users? That disturbing proposition was raised yesterday in an article appearing in The Guardian. The article asserted that Bing search results for Chinese language speakers in the US were radically different than those in English for controversial terms such as Tiananmen Square or Dalai Lama: Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China. S [...]


French Court Orders Google To Remove Max Mosley Images From Search Engine Results

Google logo After making a public plea for the European courts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Formula One president Max Mosley, Google found out today the French court has ruled in favor of Mosley and is forcing the search engine to censure search results. According to a report on Reuters.com, the French court has ordered Google to, "Remove and cease, for a period of five years beginning two months after this decision, the appearance of nine images identified by Max Mosley in the Google Images search engine results." To keep the images in question from showing up in search results, Google says it [...]


Could You Walk In Google’s Shoes? Making Tough Calls With Search Listings

It's pretty easy to sit back and slam Google for how you think it should make decisions when it comes to search listings. It's much harder to actually make those decisions, when you have a deeper understanding of all the implications involved. To experience this better, here's a chance to put yourself in Google's shoes and make some of the tough decisions. Below is a video from a special session we did at our SMX West search marketing conference earlier this year. Patrick Thomas, Google's search policy specialist and Matt Cutts, the head of Google's web spam fighting team, suggested a v [...]


Google Says European Law Does Not Support Mosley Lawsuit To Censor Search Results

Google Europe Yesterday, Google posted a plea on their Google Europe blog asking European courts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Formula One president Max Mosley. The lawsuit requests that Google build a filter to identify and block what Mosley claims is unlawful content. A report on Bloomberg.com claims Mosley's lawyers filed a suit in a French Court, asking Google to create filters that could identify and remove content referencing "Nazi-themed" sex parties in association with Mosley.  A lawsuit has also been filed in Hamburg, Germany. In response to the lawsuit, Google's associate general cou [...]


Mississippi Attorney General To Subpoena Google For Illegal Sale Of Prescription Drugs

google-legal-law-featured Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood will subpoena Google records and emails to determine if Google facilitated the sale of drugs without a prescription and other illegal products, including counterfeit copies of movies, games and music. "Google is aiding and abetting criminal activity and putting consumers at risk," says Hood, "This is of grave concern to the chief law enforcement officers of this nation." The attorney general heads an intellectual property section of the National Association of Attorneys General and is urging other attorney generals to follow his lead. According to a [...]


State AGs: Google Still Allows & Profits From Illegal Drug Ads

Google legal The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is accusing Google of continuing to give consumers access to illegal and counterfeit goods -- including drugs -- in its search results, and is allowing sites that deal in such goods to advertise with Google. NAAG has asked Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page to discuss its concerns at a national meeting of state attorneys general that's happening June 17-19 in Boston. There's no formal statement that I can find on the NAAG website, but both USA Today and the Mississippi Business Journal are quoting that state's AG, Jim Hood, co-chair [...]


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