SA court finds Google liable for defamation

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The South Australian Supreme Court has found Google legally responsible for defamation through search links.

According to The Conversation, Dr Janice Duffy has been trying to have defamatory content removed from Google search results for more than six years.

Ripoff Reports, a US based website published reviews of Duffy that she was unable to have removed due to US defamation laws where websites are not liable for comments made my users and defamation can be hard to prove.

So Duffy went to Google to remove the links from the search results.

The court found that Google found to be obliged to censor its search results once aware of the defamatory search results.  Google had removed some links from its Australian domain but left many of the links from other domains active, potentially further damaging Duffy’s reputation.

The case will go back to court on November 3, when damages will be established.  Google may appeal the court’s decision to the High Court.
  • Dr Janice Duffy on 29/10/2015 5:50:26 PM

    The content was more than unfavourable, it was false and defamatory. As noted by a US court publishes and refuses to remove false and defamatory content for the purposes of commercialisation.

    Moreover, evidence in a US criminal investigation shows that Google earns millions of dollars in advertising from that website.

    I pleaded and notified for years before we went to trial. Yet, Google has removed links to content on that website about other Australians.

    This is not a case of censorship but of profiting from defamation and the dstruction of individuals and small businesses. What was I supposed to do? Let my ability to earn an income be destroyed?

    Ask yourself how you would feel if false accusations of crimes were attached to your name and put on global display?

    I just wanted my life back. The Defendant refused to mediate before the trial. I did what I needed to protect my reputation and ability to earn an income.

    I will fight this to the High Court if necessary but it will be from the gallery, not the bar table because lawyers filed a notice of acting yesterday and I now have an experienced and clever QC, Paul Heywood-Smith representing me. This is a relief because the toll on my health has been severe.

    I notified, pleaded and litigated for 6 years. It takes Google 2 minutes to remove content. This was their call, not mine and they lost!

  • Noah Ark on 29/10/2015 1:45:14 PM

    Not a clever move, apart from the very dubious judicial decision, as thousands more people (like me) will now hunt down the supposedly defamatory comments to see wht the fuss is about. The "Streisland Effect".
    Had a court previously found them to be defamatory or was it just Janice's complaint? If not, why should Google have complied at all?

  • Bernard O'Donnell on 29/10/2015 10:41:20 AM

    Excellent had to be more action to make Google accountable. It seems today to be Judge and Jury. Google is destroying so many peoples live with no accountanilitu

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