Guy Wins Defamation Suit Vs. Google for Search Results

Australia man wins what might be the first such victory
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2012 12:01 PM CST
Google has lost a case in Australia over defamatory search results.   (AP Photo/dapd, Virginia Mayo)

(Newser) – Google has lost a defamation case with potentially big repercussions. An Australia man sued because if you Googled his name, the search results brought up stories about the nation's criminal underworld and left the impression he belonged to it, report AFP and Slate. When Google declined to address the issue, Milorad Trkulja sued for defamation, and an Australian court awarded him about $200,000 in damages this week.

Google argued that it takes a hands-off approach to such things. "Search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the web," said a spokesperson. "The sites in Google's search results are controlled by those sites' webmasters, not by Google.” Lawyers for Trkulja, an entertainment promoter who was once the victim of a high-profile shooting in a restaurant, say it's the first time a search engine has been held accountable for defaming someone in the same way that, say, a newspaper would. Google is expected to appeal. Click for more. (Read more Google stories.)

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