Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) fined for criminal content

This is one result that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) could have done without.

On Monday the Internet search giant, which prides itself on the accuracy and speed of its search results, had to hand over $200,000 to music promoter Milorad Trkulja in connection with throwing up results that linked the producer to organised crime in Australia.

Google, which uses a complex system of algorithms to arrive at its search results, has held the stance that it cannot be held liable if for wrong or misleading information. All these years courts and regulatory authorities have been inclined to support this view as it is an automated process and does not signify any malicious intent on the part of the Google.

Trkulja had initially filed his lawsuit in 2009 after his attempts to contact Google over the erroneous links proved futile. He wanted Google to remove the links, but the company ignored his request.

The company issued a terse statement to Trkulja washing their hands off the problem - “The sites in Google’s search results are controlled by those sites’ webmasters, not by Google.”

It would have been an easy matter for the company to have removed the misleading links. Strangely the company did not.

The Supreme Court of Victoria, where the lawsuit was heard, said that Google was not responsible for the search results until Milorad Trkulja made the company aware of the error, at which point Google had an obligation to investigate and ultimately remove the websites in question.

Google is still sticking to its stand that it is not responsible for the content that it search metrics showed up.

Incidentally Google does remove many criminally illegal links from its search results.

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