10 votes

Google faces contempt charge for failing to remove defamatory reviews

7 comments

  1. [7]
    Lawrencium265 Link
    It sounds like Google is in the right here. Australian courts had already set precedent that individuals are responsible for the content that they post online. Now they're trying to force Google...

    It sounds like Google is in the right here. Australian courts had already set precedent that individuals are responsible for the content that they post online. Now they're trying to force Google (and any other companies) to take down anything anyone finds objectionable? That's completely bonkers.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      Rez Link Parent
      That's not exactly what's going on here - though that is also happening in Australia. Google here isn't being punished for the type of content posted, but for not taking it down in a timely...

      Australian courts had already set precedent that individuals are responsible for the content that they post online. Now they're trying to force Google (and any other companies) to take down anything anyone finds objectionable?

      That's not exactly what's going on here - though that is also happening in Australia. Google here isn't being punished for the type of content posted, but for not taking it down in a timely manner. To illustrate with an extreme, it'd be like if the "objectionable content" was child pornography - you'd rightly be furious at Google if they took years to remove it after given notice even if they weren't the uploader. So I don't think the principle of the matter is bonkers, it's just whether you think it's bonkers when applied to this man's particular defamation case.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        Lawrencium265 Link Parent
        That's a little different, this would mean that Google should take down anything anybody states is incorrect without any ability to check if that is the case. So let's say someone rightly gives...

        That's a little different, this would mean that Google should take down anything anybody states is incorrect without any ability to check if that is the case. So let's say someone rightly gives you a bad review you can just claim it's false and then Google has to delete it? That's insane.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Rez Link Parent
          If you get a court order which is what this is all about, then it's not insane that the legal system will try to make Google delete it.

          So let's say someone rightly gives you a bad review you can just claim it's false and then Google has to delete it? That's insane.

          If you get a court order which is what this is all about, then it's not insane that the legal system will try to make Google delete it.

          2 votes
          1. Lawrencium265 Link Parent
            Correct, however the Australian courts are now stating that Google can be held liable for damages for things that their users post in direct opposition to previous precedent. What that means is...

            Correct, however the Australian courts are now stating that Google can be held liable for damages for things that their users post in direct opposition to previous precedent. What that means is that if anyone tells Google to take something down that they claim defames them and Google doesn't then Google could face paying monetary damages along with the court order for removal. That means it would always be in Google's ( or any other companies) best interest to immediately remove anything anybody claims is defamatory. For instance if I didn't like what someone said about me on tildes the site owner could be guilty of defamation in Australia and would have to pay damages if they didn't remove the offending content immediately after receiving notice from a plantiff.

    2. [2]
      spit-evil-olive-tips Link Parent
      The article seems to say the opposite? I live in the US, so I'm not at all familiar with Australian law. But as an American I get really tired of American companies hiding behind American laws &...

      Australian courts had already set precedent that individuals are responsible for the content that they post online.

      The article seems to say the opposite?

      the NSW Supreme Court ruled last month that media organisations including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian were liable for the allegedly defamatory comments of readers on their Facebook pages.
      ...
      Google and other digital platforms are able to rely on a number of protections in Australian defamation law, including the defence of innocent dissemination. But they may be liable for defamation if they are alerted to defamatory material and do not remove it.

      I live in the US, so I'm not at all familiar with Australian law. But as an American I get really tired of American companies hiding behind American laws & ideals even while doing business in other countries with different laws.

      Google Australia gets a court order from the Australian courts, they should follow it. Contempt of court charges only come about when someone's dragging their feet on complying with a judge's orders.

      4 votes
      1. Lawrencium265 Link Parent
        Earlier in the article it does state that other plantiffs in other cases prior to that have won cases against individuals for posts they had made.

        Earlier in the article it does state that other plantiffs in other cases prior to that have won cases against individuals for posts they had made.