Google, Google, Google: What have you done to piss the French off?
Only some days ago, a Paris court convicted US search engine giant Google and its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, of defamation over results from its “suggest” function. The new function, which suggests options as you type in a word, brought up the words “rapist” and “satanist” when the plaintiff’s name was typed into the search engine, legalis.net reported.
The court ordered Google to make a symbolic payment of one euro in damages and take measures to ensure they could be no repeat of the offense.
After reading Mashable’s article which was published only a few days after the conviction, I think that Google is trying really hard to fix this problem and avoid further convictions by monitoring and regulating its instant suggestions with: Google’s Blacklist.
This list is supposed to be the ultimate solution and its purpose is to stop delivering new results when an offensive term is typed in the search field. You can still search for these terms. The issue is that when you type them, Google Instant stops reporting results on the fly, and you must hit “enter” to see results.
For example, “bisexual” and “lesbian” are among the restricted words. Type them in to Google and the instant search will immediately stop delivering new results. You have to hit enter to confirm, yes, you really do want to know about something in some way related to bisexuals or lesbians.
Google’s current implementation of its Blacklist is still far from perfect — the company rep admitted that. The rep told Mashable that Google is working on improving the system, but wouldn’t give them any specifics about future changes.
My thoughts go out to Google for all the trouble they keep getting into just for trying to improve their search results – and gain a few bucks on the way! I think that whoever is looking for anything offensive online would be able to find it with or without Google’s help. This applies to offenders as well!
What do you think: Do you empathize with Google? Do you think they should be blamed for the misuse of their service? What about actual rapists with a Facebook account – why is no one convicting Facebook of defamation?
Looking forward to your feedback down below…
P.S: You can check out Google’s complete Blacklist at 2600.