Google Wins Australia's Top Court Verdict For Liability Over Slanderous Content

Google Wins Australia's Top Court Verdict For Liability Over Slanderous Content
  • Australia’s highest court relieved Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google of the liability of defamatory content accessible via a hyperlink in its search results, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  •  A lawyer named George Defteros alleged that a Google search of his name returned a hyperlink to and a snippet of a defamatory newspaper article. 
  • Lower courts found that the article implied Defteros had become a friend of criminal elements and considered Google a publisher of the article as the search result was crucial to communicating its contents to end users. 
  • The courts ordered Google to pay damages of A$40,000, equivalent to $28,100.
  • Google contested the allegation citing it merely facilitated access.
  • “A hyperlink is content-neutral,” a court opinion said.
  • Several earlier Australian court rulings held social media and news organizations liable for content on their platforms.
  • Australian regulation of tech and social-media platforms came into the limelight, notably when it introduced a law requiring tech companies to pay news publishers for content. 
  • Meta Platforms Inc META owned Facebook said Australian news organizations could publish news content on Facebook. Still, Australian readers will not be able to view or share the posts and links to these stories.
  • Photo by Firmbee via Pixabay

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