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Internet Defamation

Most UK right to be forgotten applications to Google are likely to be refused

Google’s latest right to be forgotten statistics  reveal that 3 out of 5 requests to delist web content from its search results are being refused. This is nearly 61% refusal rate.

When a right to be forgotten application is refused by Google, the alternatives could be much more expensive. It is therefore worth reading this article

How to make a successful right to be forgotten application  before you submit your right to be forgotten applications to Google.

After we examined dozens of right to be forgotten applications we have concluded that there are only 3 main reasons for Google’s refusal to allow them: Read the full article  3 most common reasons for Google rejecting right to be forgottenapplications here.

 
 
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Germany

May 2013

A Federal Court Judge in Germany  ordered Google to adhere to requests to remove autocomplete entries from its Google search bar in Germany if they are defamatory.

The complainant, a corporate, whose name remains confidential, claimed that whenever someone carries out a Google search for its name,  Google automatically prompts other searches that involves suggesting that the company was involved, among other things, in fraud.

Google replied by claiming that the  autosuggestion functionality merely brings to attention the most popular searches its users carry out.

 

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12 July 2013

Twitter has been ordered to reveal, to French Police, the identity of bigots who posted anti-Semitic and racist abuse.

Twitter argued that it should only be subject to US and was intending to defend the anonymity of users.

Prosecutors in Paris argue that the Twitter had a duty to expose those who post abuse and that this duty prevailed over a right to anonymity.

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In April 2013 a mother in Brazil won a battle to have her deceased daughter’s Facebook page removed. The continuing messages and memories posted by her daughter’s friends had caused her huge distress so she pleaded Facebook to terminate the account.

On The Judge at Mato Grosso do Sul state court ordered Facebook to close down the account or face imprisonment.

 

Related Articles:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22286569

Is Facebook as customer friendly as it makes out? (internetlawexpert.co.uk)

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In April 2013 Google was ordered by a Japanese Court to change its autocomplete feature and ordered to pay 30,000 yen in damages to a Japanese man. Google’s autocomplete feature was linking the man to a series of crimes he did not commit when his name was typed in on the search engine.

Last year Tokyo District Court issued an injunction backing the Claimant which Google failed to honour.

The Claimant said that he had lost his job because of Google displaying search results that suggested that he was a notorious criminal.

This is the first reported case where Google is ordered by a Japanese court to change its search terms. To read the full article go to http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57579765-93/google-loses-autocomplete-defamation-suit-in-japan/

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A French tribunal ordered Twitter, in January 2013, to reveal the identities of the anonymous tweeters who were tweeting their anti-Semitic views.

Twitter was sued by the Union of French Jewish Students. Twitter claimed that they were abiding the laws of the country that they operate in and that only a US judge could make them adhere to the request of releasing their identities.

The Paris tribunal ruled that Twitter must hand over the information such as their names, email and IP addresses or face being fined $1,300 a day.  Twitter is now said to be reviewing the court’s decision.  They have already removed the tweets that the union said strongly breached France’s hate speech laws.

Twitter said that they do not monitor or are aware of all the content on their network but will look at the reports of tweets that may be against their policies or tweets that are illegal.

 
 
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Philippines

14/12/2012

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The company of controversial Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada filed Internet libel case versus his partner-turned-bitter foe, Steve Wynn, in Manila for “maliciously” leaking to the press a report adversarial to Okada.

In a December 13 disclosure to the Japanese stock exchange, Okada-led Universal Entertainment Corp. said the group filed a criminal complaint against Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts where Okada was vice chair and the biggest shareholder, at a local court in Parañaque City.

 

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Have you ever gone to a restaurant and not been completely satisfied with your visit?  Maybe the food was poor or the service was not up to your standards.  Have you then gone online and write a review about your poor dining experience? Did the owner then start a campaign against you referring to you in a defamatory manner?

This is exactly what happened to Elayna Katz, a 42 year old woman, in Nove,ber 2012, who had written an online review about Mambo Nuevo Latino restaurant in Ottawa.  The owner, Marisol Simoes then hit back at the review and started a 2 year campaign to humiliate Katz. She branded Katz as a “lonely, unstable, sexually insatiable transsexual”.  Simoes had also set up a dating site under Katz’s name and sent various emails impersonating her. Katz described this ordeal as a very embarrassing time.

Simoes was then charged by Ottawa police under Canada’s defamation laws which are rarely used.  She was found guilty of 2 counts of libel and was sentenced, facing up to 5 years in prison.

This further highlights the dangers of online reviewing and the defamation it can prompt.  In this case it was the owner of a restaurant who was harassing a reviewer but in many other cases online reviews do prompt responses from other individuals.  As mentioned in my previous blog, a similar incident happened to an Amazon customer.  Read the article on defamation lawyer.

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Australia

31 October 2012

Google was ordered to pay 208,000 USD after a jury at the Supreme Court of Victoria rejected its defence to a defamation claim, that it was simply pointing to material that others had published and therefore could not be liable for defamation.

 

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Malaysia

April 2012

Malaysian Sun Journalist, R. Nadeswaran was ordered by a Malaysian court to pay property developer, Datuk Mohamad Salim, RM500,000 for libelous remarks on Twitter.  It was heard that in one of two posts, Nadeswaran labelled Salim a thief.

High Court judge Justice Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah awarded Mohamad Salim RM300,000 in general damages and RM200,000 in aggravated damages.

Mr Nadeswaran is the first Malaysian to be sued for defamatory posts on Twitter. He immediately said he would appeal the decision.

Read the article on The Daily Star.

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England

March 2012

Former New Zealand cricketer, Chris Cairns was awarded by the High Court £90,000 in damages for a libelous 24 word tweet. It therefore cost Lalit Modi, an ex-Indian Premier League commissioner, £3,750 for every word he tweeted!

The Judge did not deem it a material factor that the tweet was only probably received by 65 followers. He stated that although the audience was limited, it did not mean that damages should be reduced because of this.

The tweet made by Modi claimed that Cairns was involved in match fixing which Cairns said could seriously damage the good reputation he has built up over the past 20 years. He added that although it was not as serious as previous allegations it was still highly damaging for his reputation.

 

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