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Washington (AFP) - Google said Monday it was working to fix a search algorithm glitch that produced "inappropriate and misleading" results from its search engine and connected speaker.

The internet giant reacted after a blog post highlighted unsubstantiated search results indicating former president Barack Obama was planning a "coup d'etat' and that four former US presidents were members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The weekend post from Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan found Google delivered "terribly wrong" answers to some queries in its "one true answer" box at the top of search results and in queries to its Google Home speaker.

 

"The problematic examples I review don't appear to have been deliberate attempts," Sullivan wrote. "Rather, they seem to be the result of Google's algorithms and machine learning making bad selections."

Sullivan said when he asked the speaker if US Republicans were the same as Nazis, it answered in the affirmative.

Similarly, he cited an example in which Google's search engine listed four former US presidents as "active and known" KKK members, even though there has been no conclusive historical evidence supporting that.

The news comes amid a growing controversy over "fake news" circulating online via Google or Facebook, and efforts by the internet giants to weed out hoaxes and misinformation.

In a statement to AFP, Google said its boxed results at the top of a search query, known as "featured snippets," are based on an algorithmic formula.

"Unfortunately, there are instances when we feature a site with inappropriate or misleading content," Google's statement said.

"When we are alerted to a featured snippet that violates our policies, we work quickly to remove them, which we have done in this instance. We apologize for any offense this may have caused."

Google also noted it includes a "feedback" link under these snippets that can allow the search giant to flag or remove inappropriate content.

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/google-vows-fix-inappropriate-search-results-161030628.html

Categorized in Search Engine

On January 26, 2017, the BCCA granted Vancouver Community College's appeal and held that it's passing off claim against Vancouver Career College had been established. The BCCA also remitted Vancouver Community College's claim of breach of official marks to the trial court for fresh determination.

Vancouver Community College alleged passing off by Vancouver Career College through the use of it's official mark "VCC" in Vancouver Career College's domain name and internet advertising. Vancouver Community College also alleged the wrongful use of its official mark, "VCC", contrary to subsection 9(n)(iii) of the Trade-marks Act. The trial judge dismissed the action, holding that none of the three requirements for passing off (goodwill, confusion and damage) had been established and that Vancouver Career College's use of "VCC" prior to it becoming an official mark allowed for continued use (see our previous blog post here).

 

The trial judge held that proof of goodwill required proof that the product had acquired a secondary meaning or distinctiveness. On appeal, the BCCA held it was an error of law to require that "VCC" had established a secondary meaning:

[40] On my review of the authorities, including Oxford Pendaflex Canada Ltd., a secondary meaning is an aid to considering the posited attachment of the product or "get-up" to the plaintiff in cases of inherently unspecific language or "get-up", where the primary meaning by itself does not point to a party. That was not the case here. The question in this case was always, in respect to the acronym "VCC", whether it carried sufficient distinctiveness in its primary sense to be recognized as designating the appellant and the educational services it provides. ... To put it another way, the appellant simply was required to establish that a sufficient portion of the marketplace in 2009 knew that "VCC" indicates Vancouver Community College.

In finding that goodwill had been established the BCCA pointed to a significant body of evidence in the record demonstrating goodwill that was not referred to by the trial judge and held that the trial judge erred in fact by misstating the scope of evidence and in failing to relate a significant body of evidence to the issue of goodwill.

 

The confusion requirement dealt with internet searches, the key issue being whether the assessment should be done when search results are first displayed or after the searcher has clicked on an advertisement and arrived at the landing page. The trial judge noted that confusion is assessed at the moment of first impression and concluded that in the case of internet advertising this occurs after the searcher clicks on a search result to arrive at the landing page. The BCCA stated that while the trial judge correctly identified the first impression test, he erred in its application because the moment for assessing confusion is the first encounter when search results appear, not when the searcher arrives at the landing page:

[55] ... In my view, while the judge correctly referred to the first impression test, he erred in delaying its application to the searcher's arrival at the landing page, a moment well past the moment of first impression; the conclusion that the first impression does not occur until the searcher has reached a website by clicking on a search result, cannot be sustained on the authorities before us.

Having found that Vancouver Community College had established goodwill and confusion the BCCA noted that damage may be inferred from the loss of control over one's goodwill and held that interference with Vancouver Community College's goodwill is sufficient to establish damage.

With respect to Vancouver Community College's claim regarding the official marks provisions of the Trade-marks Act the BCCA found that there were insufficient findings of fact in the trial decision to assess the allegation or the defence of prior use and remitted the issue to the trial court for fresh determination.

A copy of the BCCA's Reasons for Judgment can be found here.

Author : Sean Jackson

Source:http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/568034/Trademark/First+Impression+for+Internet+Confusion+Occurs+At+Search+Results+Page+BCCA 

Categorized in Others

When prospects research your company they compare you to your competitors. More specifically, they compare your search results to those of your competition. What they see online can mean the difference between contacting you and not.

If customer acquisition was easy, marketing departments wouldn’t comprise such a large portion of most company structures. Likewise, advertising wouldn’t be a $500 billion per year industry. Obtaining new customers, in order to capture more market share, is the lifeblood of business. It’s a multifaceted and ever-changing discipline, and has grown tremendously in light of new technologies.

The Definition of Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition is the measured effort of finding, connecting with, and ultimately acquiring new customers. The “acquisition” part of this methodology is commonly called conversion, marking the moment when a potential customer becomes an actual customer through the purchase of a good or service.

 

Examples of the Customer Acquisition Process

The customer acquisition process takes different forms depending on a company’s size, resources, and needs. Here are a few examples of customer acquisition.

  • A farmer wants to expand her business to sell eggs outside of her immediate vicinity. She registers with a farmer’s market in the nearest city and pays for a small booth where she can sell her eggs. The first time she sets up her stand, she displays a mailing list at the front of her booth and sits back while customers shop. She only sells $100 worth of eggs, but now she has a list of email addresses of potential customers. She sends out gift certificates to everyone on her mailing list, and next week, six out of twenty people on the list redeem their certificates. She has acquired six new customers.
  • An associate at a retail clothing store greets a shopper. Through conversation, the associate discovers that the shopper wants a particular type of jeans she can’t find — so the cashier finds these jeans in the company’s online database and orders them online for the shopper. The shopper pays for her jeans in the store and becomes a customer.
  • An event planner for a corporation is looking online for the perfect venue. She visits several different websites and subscribes to their mailing lists. Later that week, when she receives an irresistible special offer in her email inbox from one of the venues, she calls the venue to schedule a meeting. She’s thrilled by the location and books the venue.
  • A sales representative for a hardware company interacts with a prospect at a trade show and provides an engaging live demonstration of an interactive kiosk. The prospect is “wowed,” and they exchange business cards. Later that week, the sales representative follows up with the prospect over the phone. The prospect is eager to purchase, and becomes a customer.
  • An author regularly engages with followers on social media, where she shares slices of her life and tips on writing with her readers. Once a week, she Tweets out a link to the landing page for her latest book, and tracks the number of people who visit her page that day. On average, she converts 50 new customers each week from her promotional Tweet.

Now that you can see how varied and complex customer acquisition can be, let’s look at some of the different ways businesses advertise to customers. We’ll also explore how the internet has added new and more targeted marketing techniques for customer acquisition, shaping the field into more of a science than an art.

Customer Acquisition Online: Techniques Involved

Customer acquisition happens through the orchestrated effort of a number of advertising strategies. These strategies fall into three categories: above the line, through the line, and below the line. Any type of advertising you see — from billboards and bathroom stall flyers to email newsletters – fits into one of these groups.

Above the Line (ATL)

This type of advertising is typically one-sided in its delivery – like someone yelling through a megaphone to a large audience. Broadcast television ads, traditional and digital billboards, flyers, magazine ads, and broadcast radio commercials are all examples of ATL advertising. This type of advertising is meant to pique the interest of a wide variety of people rather than a specific customer persona, and it doesn’t capture data about the people interacting with it. The only way to determine if a customer was acquired through ATL advertising is to ask the customer directly.

Below the Line (BTL)

Below the line advertising is direct to a prospective customer, and it’s usually targeted to reach a specific type of person. A pamphlet for a local business mailed only to people in that geographic area is an example of BTL advertising. Other examples include face-to-face selling at a trade show, an email marketing campaign, social media advertising, in-store sales, or gift cards handed out at events. Paid and organic search engine marketing, which is the main topic of this article, falls into this category. BTL advertising is especially useful because it helps marketers gather data about their customers’ behavior in response to different advertising efforts.

 

Through the Line (TTL)

This type of advertising is a hybrid of ATL and BTL. It takes a mass-market approach, but provides some kind of “feedback” element that alerts a company to how the customer heard about the business. A television ad with a toll free number or coupon code or a billboard with a URL for a unique landing page are examples of TTL advertising. The ultimate goal of TTL advertising is to use mass advertising efforts to generate a database of prospective customers.

Today, marketers can obtain more insights than ever into consumer behavior through the application of Big Data. Through special applications and free tools online, startups and major corporations alike can gather extensive data about who visits their websites and social media pages.

They can determine where prospective customers live, how old they are, and what they’re interested in. Businesses can also determine how long users linger on their websites (it’s called user dwell time) and which parts of a site are clicked most frequently, indicating which components of a site are the most interesting or useful. Marketers and advertisers can also do A/B testing on various headlines, Tweets, images, and other content with little to no risk, providing essential information about what “clicks” with prospects and what doesn’t.

How Search Fits Into the Customer Journey

Customers use search at every checkpoint in their buying journey. They use it to research a broad topic, they use it to see what other people are buying, and they use it to discover and compare brands when they’re ready to buy.buyers-journey-2.png

Image courtesy hubspot

Here’s an example of how an internet user might discover a new brand through search. Jane has just started rock climbing and she needs to buy shoes. She might search “what type of climbing shoes should I get” or simply “types of rock climbing shoes.” She wants to learn more about what she needs for this stage in her climbing, and may not be ready to look at specific brands yet.

However, after some research, Jane discovers that she needs good bouldering shoes with an aggressive toe and a wide toe box to accommodate her foot type. She might search terms like “bouldering shoes” or “aggressive climbing shoes” or even “best climbing shoe brands.” If she’s hoping to find a good starter shoe for a low price, she might search “inexpensive climbing shoes” or “discount climbing shoes.

How do you get Jane to buy from you?

If you’re a business hoping to get Jane to buy from you, the best way to acquire new customers like her online is by including the same keywords she’s searching on your website. However, with the complexity of Google’s search algorithms (and the artificial intelligence behind it that personalizes search for individual users) you’ll need to do more than pack your website with keywords related to climbing shoes.

 

“If your product or service doesn’t naturally sell itself, then the best way forward is often to use a combined effort of paid advertising and organic SEO techniques”

The key to customer acquisition through online search is to appeal to buyers at all stages of their discovery process. If your product or service doesn’t naturally sell itself, then the best way to do this is often to use a combined effort of paid advertising and organic SEO techniques. Although best practices for search engine optimization change regularly, one thing seems to be clear: relevant, well-constructed, and memorable content ranks higher in search results no matter the search query. Start by researching what your target customers might be searching for, and check Google AdWords to see what specific search terms are most commonly used (though their Keyword Tool is wildly inaccurate in its volume estimates it should still give you a good idea of other relevant ideas). Then, develop content that both includes these keywords and meets the actual needs of a person who might be searching that term.

Excellent content will certainly boost your rank among competitors, but it’s only part of the picture of how consumers see you online.

How Search Results Influence Consumer Behavior

Beyond the content of your website (which consumers likely realize is biased toward whatever product or service you’re offering), there are other things that will likely come up in search results that impact whether or not they do business with you. Here’s a few of them.

Search any prominent business online and you’re bound to see Google Reviews as one of the top results. Beyond Google, other review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp can either encourage your potential customer to buy from you or deter him altogether. By monitoring your company’s online reviews and responding to them in a timely manner, you can avoid losing potential new customers.

Competitor Websites

If the website of a company similar to yours consistently ranks higher in search results, there’s a good chance you’re losing many prospective customers to the competition. The best way to outrank your competition is to study what they’re doing well, and design your website content to be even better.

False Information

Whether false information about you appears on scam sites, blogs, or other malicious sites, these can negatively impact your business’s reputation and lead a customer to select one of the many other options available to them online.

For a situation like this, you can hire a reputation management company to help, or you can take it into your own hands. In some cases, you can have false information removed from websites if it violates that site’s terms of service.

Customer acquisition online is a complicated game, but one with unrivaled potential. With over three billion internet users in the world and the sale of goods and services online increasing, pouring your efforts into finding new customers through the web is a strategy worth investing in.

Author : Kent Campbell

Source : http://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/search-results-influence-opinion-prospective-customers-01778759#IBWVmIEXeWKpKjCR.97

Categorized in Search Engine

After conducting a search in Google, it’s not unusual to see a ‘People also ask’ section featuring related queries. That feature has been around since 2015, but now Google is making it smarter with dynamically loading suggestions.

Google’s Satyajeet Salgar broke the news on Twitter while also sharing a GIF of how the feature works in action: 

In Salgar’s example, you’ll see that it begins with a search about bats. From there the suggestion “Do bats attack people?” is tapped on, after which a new set of related suggestions is dynamically rendered. You’ll see “Do bats bite you?” is suggested, and tapping on that dynamically renders the new suggestion of “What percent of bats are rabid?”

Another example is shown in the same GIF — “Where do bats go in the winter?” is selected, followed by a new search suggestion “Do bats hibernate in Michigan?” (perhaps the search emanated from Michigan). Tapping on that suggestion dynamically loads a new suggestion of “What kind of bats are found in Michigan?” 

 

It goes on and on. Presumably, you’ll be able to infinitely explore any topic in as great a depth as you’d like using this new feature. This accomplishes two things — it helps deliver relevant information more quickly while also keeping searchers within Google’s ecosystem.

In theory, users could keep tapping on the dynamically rendered search suggestions without ever leaving the search engine results pages. Not great for publishers, but an absolute boon for Google’s search volume.

Currently, this feature is only available in US search results.

Author : Matt Southern

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/googles-new-people-also-ask-suggestions-allow-deeper-exploration-topics/185661/

Categorized in Search Engine

Did Yandex's new algorithm Palekh just go head to head with Google's RankBrain?

Yandex announced on their Russian blog that they have launched a new algorithm aimed at improving how they handle long-tail queries. The new algorithm is named Palekh, which is the name of a world-famous Russian city that has a firebird on its coat of arms.

The firebird has a long tail, and Yandex, the largest Russian search engine, used that as code name for long-tail queries. Long-tail queries are several words entered into the search box, more often seen in voice queries these days. Yandex says about 100 million queries per day fall under the “long-tail” classification within their search engine.

 

The Palekh algorithm allows Yandex to understand the meaning behind every query, and not just look for similar words. Which reminds me of Google RankBrain. I asked Yandex if it is similar to Google’s RankBrain, and they said they “don’t know exactly what’s the technology behind Google’s RankBrain, although these technologies do look quite similar.”

Yandex’s Palekh algorithm has started to use neural networks as one of 1,500 factors of ranking. A Yandex spokesperson told us they have “managed to teach our neural networks to see the connections between a query and a document even if they don’t contain common words.” They did this by “converting the words from billions of search queries into numbers (with groups of 300 each) and putting them in 300-dimensional space — now every document has its own vector in that space,” they told us. “If the numbers of a query and numbers of a document are near each other in that space, then the result is relevant,” they added.

When I asked if they are using machine learning, Yandex said they do use machine learning and explained that they teach their “neural network based on these queries will lead to some advancements in answering conversational based queries in the future.” Adding that they “also have many targets (long click prediction, CTR, “click or not click” models and so on) that are teaching our neural network — our research has showed that using more targets is more effective.”

Author : Barry Schwartz

Source : http://searchengineland.com/yandex-launches-new-algorithm-named-palekh-improve-search-results-long-tail-queries-262334

Categorized in Search Engine

Making calls, searching, texting and map lookups were the most common use cases for voice.

Voice search and use of voice commands on mobile devices is on the rise. However, there’s still some embarrassment or reluctance to use it, according to a new survey of more than 900 US smartphone owners from Stone Temple Consulting.

The survey found that people were more likely to use voice when they were alone at home or work. They were much less likely to talk to their devices in public.

where-they-interact_total-2

Men, younger (and older) users and higher income groups were somewhat more inclined to use voice; however, the differences by category were generally not significant. The exceptions were that men and higher income earners appeared somewhat less inhibited about using voice in public situations.

 

Ironically, those same high income earners “are more likely to get annoyed by people using voice commands with their phone in public,” although they themselves are more likely to do it as well.

applications-used

Making a call, searching, texting and map lookups were top use cases. Driving, “hands full” and “hands dirty” were the top contexts for voice, with roughly 60 percent citing these as dominant scenarios. However, the vast majority (80 percent) still preferred to text by hand (this may go to accuracy).

The top three rationales behind voice usage were:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. The answer is read back to me.
  3. I don’t have to type.

About 40 percent of both men and women said that voice made using their smartphones easier. Men were more likely than women to strongly agree. This answer and other data in the survey reflect a mostly positive experience with voice.

voice-commands-make-easier_pie-and-bar

Perhaps the most interesting data in the survey findings pointed to the transformation of the search experience with virtual assistants and voice on smartphones. Users wanted more direct answers and fewer conventional search results with their corresponding need to go to third-party websites.

Respondents said they also wanted “more integration with other applications.” That’s a strange response, given that on both the iPhone and Android devices, speech is integrated with third-party apps.

personal-assistant-features-wanted

We should see these responses as further indicators of satisfaction with virtual assistants and voice. I wish there were additional data unpacking this response. It’s the one with the most dramatic implications for the search user experience, for marketers and for Google.

Author : Greg Sterling

Source : http://searchengineland.com/survey-60-percent-voice-users-want-answers-fewer-search-results-267643

Categorized in Search Engine

Voice search and use of voice commands on mobile devices is on the rise. However, there’s still some embarrassment or reluctance to use it, according to a new survey of more than 900 US smartphone owners from Stone Temple Consulting.

The survey found that people were more likely to use voice when they were alone at home or work. They were much less likely to talk to their devices in public.

where-they-interact_total-2

Men, younger (and older) users and higher income groups were somewhat more inclined to use voice; however, the differences by category were generally not significant. The exceptions were that men and higher income earners appeared somewhat less inhibited about using voice in public situations.

 

Ironically, those same high income earners “are more likely to get annoyed by people using voice commands with their phone in public,” although they themselves are more likely to do it as well.

applications-used

Making a call, searching, texting and map lookups were top use cases. Driving, “hands full” and “hands dirty” were the top contexts for voice, with roughly 60 percent citing these as dominant scenarios. However, the vast majority (80 percent) still preferred to text by hand (this may go to accuracy).

The top three rationales behind voice usage were:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. The answer is read back to me.
  3. I don’t have to type.

About 40 percent of both men and women said that voice made using their smartphones easier. Men were more likely than women to strongly agree. This answer and other data in the survey reflect a mostly positive experience with voice.

voice-commands-make-easier_pie-and-bar

Perhaps the most interesting data in the survey findings pointed to the transformation of the search experience with virtual assistants and voice on smartphones. Users wanted more direct answers and fewer conventional search results with their corresponding need to go to third-party websites.

 

Respondents said they also wanted “more integration with other applications.” That’s a strange response, given that on both the iPhone and Android devices, speech is integrated with third-party apps.

personal-assistant-features-wanted

We should see these responses as further indicators of satisfaction with virtual assistants and voice. I wish there were additional data unpacking this response. It’s the one with the most dramatic implications for the search user experience, for marketers and for Google.

Author : Greg Sterling

Source : http://searchengineland.com/survey-60-percent-voice-users-want-answers-fewer-search-results-267643

Categorized in Online Research

Search giant was under fire for search results dominated by neo-Nazi white supremacist sites
Online search giant Google has tweaked an algorithm to ensure that Holocaust denial sites are not the top results when someone asks whether the Holocaust occurred, Digital Trends reported on Sunday.

“We recently made improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web,” a Google spokesperson told Digital Trends when asked about the topic. “We’ll continue to change our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges.”

 

Google recently faced criticism after journalists noted that the top results for queries about the Holocaust's legitimacy were all links to anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi sites.

Experts have recently said that far-right groups have been using methods to manipulate search algorithms and push their propaganda higher up Google's search rankings.

While Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi sites have not been banned from Google, they are now far less prominent in search results. A link from the neo-Nazi site Stormfront was previously consistently the top result, but now appears far down the first page of results or on the second page – if browsing in "incognito mode", which does not take a user's search history into account when weighing results.

Anti-hate groups have warned of a rise in online incitement this year, with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) telling the Israeli parliament this year that there has been an "explosion of hate online."

"Online hate is particularly disturbing because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon," ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said.

Earlier this year, Google removed an extension on its Chrome browser which allowed users to identify and track suspected Jewish members of the media and entertainment industries.

While it was active, Coincidence Detector identified suspected or confirmed Jews by adding triple parentheses to their names wherever they were referenced online. According to Mic, the extension had been downloaded more than 2,700 times and had a database of 8,700 people at the time it was removed and had a five-star rating.

Source : http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/technology/133654-161227-google-reportedly-tweaks-algorithm-over-holocaust-denying-search-results

Categorized in Search Engine

With Yahoo dead, every Google lover is more convinced that Google is indeed the top search giant. We never doubted that for a second but sometimes, it can be a bit confusing with the algorithms changing from time to time. Web marketers dread those times when they have to change strategies just so their sites would come up on top of the search engine results. That problem is usually on the part of the website owners. But for us lurkers stalkers searchers, an interrupted search is a bit of a problem.

For people using the Android version of the Google app, here’s some good news: Google will immediately show search results as soon as connected to the Internet if and when a search fails for the first time. There will be moments that search is interrupted especially when you’re out, no thanks to unreliable mobile Internet or WiFi. Google made some enhancements to the Google app as it will soon deliver search results.

Feel free to continue searching with a single tap on the updated Google app. Spotty connections should no longer be a nuisance. What the app will do is save search results once retrieved. Even if you don’t get to see them because of failed connection, the app will show the results once completed and once there is Internet access.

Google streamlines search results pages so you don’t have to worry about excessive data charges or battery drain.

Author : Rei Padla

Source : https://androidcommunity.com/google-app-saves-search-results-delivers-once-connection-is-available-20170118/

Categorized in Search Engine

Someone else who doesn't understand Section 230 of the CDA is suing search engines for "refusing" to delist revenge porn. The short complaint -- filed in New York and spotted by Eric Goldman -- is signed by an actual lawyer, but the complaint is so devoid of legitimate (or any) legal arguments, it could be mistaken for a pro se attempt.

According to the complaint, a number of sexually explicit videos were posted to porn websites after a relationship went bad. The plaintiff contacted the websites and had the videos removed, which would seem to have solved the problem. But it didn't. According to the plaintiff, Yahoo, Bing, and Google searches for her name still bring up websites containing the explicit videos. Here's the wording used in the complaint [PDF]:

5. That Plaintiff contacted Defendants, Google, Yahoo, and Bing to remove the name ANGELE BRILIHON BOLOU ABODO from Defendants' web search engine.

6. That the search Plaintiff's full name on Defendants' website led and still leads to pornographic videos of the Plaintiff, and other derogatory comments aimed at the Plaintiff and containing Plaintiff's full name.

 

A search for her name does pull up everything she complains of. According to Abodo, these search results have prevented her from getting a job and have tarnished her reputation.

However, her complaint demands the removal of her name from search engines, which is an impossibility. She obviously wants the search results for her name removed, but hasn't actually asked for that in her complaint.

This filing will be sent back for amending as soon as a judge reads it, but applying some fixes to that particular language won't turn this into a winnable case. Her other efforts -- contacting websites to have the videos removed -- is something she's had some success with. It won't work with every site and there's almost no chance the "derogatory comments" scattered around the web will be removed, no matter how much she petitions these websites. But that's going to be far more productive than this litigation will be.

 

Section 230 gives the sites immunity for users' comments. It's also the reason targeting search engines isn't likely to result in delistings. Search engines return search results. They're in no way responsible for the content contained in the search results.

This is the easiest route -- far easier than tracking down those making the comments or posting the videos -- but it has about the same chances for success. Even with the damage being done to Section 230 by courts recently, it's going to take far more than this bare-bones pleading to even begin to mount a successful legal battle over unflattering search engine results.

But this short filing does lie at the crux of an issue where Section 230 is likely to receive the most collateral damage: revenge porn. Legislative efforts have been made in many states and, with almost no exceptions, the efforts include language that undermines the protections of Section 230 by attempting to shift some degree of culpability to service providers. The same sort of damage could result from a precedential ruling in a federal court if any revenge porn-based case makes it that far.

The underlying activity is horrendous and does a significant amount of damage to victims, but shifting the responsibility anywhere but the person posting the content poses the risk of opening up service providers to criminal charges and/or civil litigation -- something that would do tremendous harm to openness and freedom of the internet.

This isn't the case that's going to start that ball rolling, however. The actual perpetrators aren't listed as defendants, which means this is nothing more than a low-cost Hail Mary by Abodo and her legal rep.

Author: Tim Cushing
Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170106/11431736420/destined-failure-woman-sues-search-engines-over-revenge-porn-search-results.shtml

Categorized in Search Engine
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