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Google The Courts

In Germany, Offensive Autocomplete Is No Laughing Matter 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-are-IT-people dept.
itwbennett writes "We've all had a chuckle over Google's autocomplete results for various search queries. But one German businessman had a less funny experience when he searched for his name on Google.de: The autocomplete suggested search terms where his name was tied with 'Scientology' and 'fraud' (in German, of course). This was back in 2010. In 2012, a German court ruled that the autocomplete terms did not infringe the plaintiff's privacy. Now, a year later, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe has overturned that ruling and ordered that Google remove offensive search suggestions when notified."
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In Germany, Offensive Autocomplete Is No Laughing Matter

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  • Re:Good to know (Score:4, Informative)

    by Loether (769074) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @05:35PM (#43725291) Homepage

    Germany already has many anti nazi laws in place. For example holocaust denial is verboten. Google has removed many neo nazi and old style nazi sites for Germany.

  • by joh (27088) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:05PM (#43725733)

    I have a dictionary online.

    I have perl.

    What's the API for the "notify Google of offensive autocomplete words"?

    You don't get this. It's not about "offensive words" but about connecting YOU to things you have nothing to do with just by suggesting completions others have searched for.

    So the API is: Type your name into the Google search field and if you get completions that would be libel if published as a headline with your name in it in a newspaper, notify Google as you would notify the newspaper. It's not about search hits or things said on other sites Google just indexed. It's about what Google publishes about YOUR name in the completions and your rights.

  • Re:Good to know (Score:5, Informative)

    by joh (27088) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:45PM (#43726201)

    If a lot of people are entering the search query "Bob Somelastname pedophile" then Google autocomplete will add the word "pedophile" whenever someone types "Bob Somelastname". Google is not trying to be offensive, its just an algorithm that is based on the most common searches.

    Sorry, but no. Google already filters out LOTS of things, among them many words related to porn and many things Google doesn't like to see connected to its name if you start to type "Google". Nobody knows what else they filter here. Basically Google is redacting its auto-completion heavily already.

    If this were indeed a plain algorithm I would tend to agree with you. But it isn't.

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