Google Searches Tie Bettina Wulff to Prostitution
Now the former German first lady is suing
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2012 11:23 PM CDT
Updated Sep 11, 2012 12:01 AM CDT
Former German President Christian Wulff, left, and his wife Bettina wave to guests after the Grossen Zapfenstreich ceremony, which was held to mark his departure from office, in Berlin, March 8, 2012....   (AP Photo/dapd/Clemens Bilan)

(Newser) – Is it a political dirty trick, or did the "search algorithms" do it? The wife of Germany's former president is suing Google because Internet searches link her name to prostitution, reports the BBC. Google executives are blaming the company's automatic search algorithms for words like "prostitute," bordello," and "red light district" popping up when users type in Bettina Wulff's name. Wulff has sworn in an affidavit that she has never worked as a prostitute or escort, and is demanding the search results be "fixed." Some observers believe the search results are a deliberate smear to derail the career of Wulff's husband, Christian.

Wulff has spent more than two years battling allegations that she once worked as a prostitute. Her lawyers have already issued 34 successful cease-and-desist orders against the press and media personalities, and last week sued Google for defamation, reports Der Spiegel, which claims that Google has complied in the past with powerful lobbying interests to scrub search results. A Google Germany representative denies the company has any culpability because search terms are "algorithmically generated" and "include the popularity of the entered search terms." All "terms that appear have been previously entered by Google users," the spokesman added in a statement.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Rufreal
Sep 11, 2012 12:09 PM CDT
And the swine emerge. Every last one of them would howl fiercely at being called racist, or would be quick to point out a racist statement, but they don't mind hanging their sexist asses out for the world to see....because the world doesn't care. Women are still objects and slaves, not humans or persons. Everyone who would flag a racist statement should flag every one of these pigs. Otherwise, own up you're not only sexist but also hypocrites.
HANKHILL
Sep 11, 2012 12:00 PM CDT
hey bettina come work for me i will treat you right!
john09
Sep 11, 2012 9:25 AM CDT
Oh yeah, I remember Bettina, except back then her name was Candy...great girl, really trying to work her way up in life, you know. She said something about being a single mom, trying to feed her kids or something...I don't know, wasn't really paying attention if you catch my drift!