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Google Not Responsible For Defamatory Comments in Search Results

Google Not Responsible For Defamatory Comments in Search Results

London’s Metropolitan International Schools run distance learning courses in games development that go under the name under the name Train2Game. They were far from happy about some defamatory comments that appeared on a website forum and popped up in Google‘s search results.

They were so unhappy, in fact, that they sued Google’s UK and US operations, saying the company was liable, as the publisher of the defamatory comments. Not surprisingly, Google denied that responsibility.

Now a British high court judge has come down on Google’s side, saying it was just a “facilitator.” Mr. Justice Eady said:

"When a snippet is thrown up on the user’s screen in response to his search, it points him in the direction of an entry somewhere on the web that corresponds, to a greater or lesser extent, to the search terms he has typed in. It is for him to access or not, as he chooses. [Google] has merely, by the provision of its search service, played the role of a facilitator."

But he did take care to note that Google has a responsibility to block or remove content where there’s a complaint about libelous concerns, the Guardian said.

Google was, of course, pleased with the result. A spokesman commented:

"Mr Justice Eady made clear if someone feels they have been defamed by material on a website then they should address their complaint to the person who actually wrote and published the material, and not a search engine, which simply provides a searchable index of content on the internet."

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