Google Faces Lawsuit Over ´Jewish´ Search Suggestions (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 05/01/12)
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French anti-discrimination organizations are suing Google for
allegedly disseminating "unsolicited and systematic associations
between famous people and their Jewishness" through Google´s auto-
complete function, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Since 2008, Google has been attempting to anticipate what its users
will type into the search engine with its "Suggest" feature, but
lawyers for SOS Racisme say that by connecting famous personalities
with an often persecuted religious minority, the web giant is
overseeing “the creation of what is probably the biggest Jewish file
When users type Rupert Murdoch´s name into the Google search engine,
the suggested results include "rupert murdoch jewish."
"Numerous users of the first search engine of France and the world
are confronted daily with the association, unsolicited and almost
systematically, [of] the word ´Jew´ with the names of those most
prominent in the world of politics, media or business," SOS Racisme
and other organizations state in their lawsuit, according to a
translation of an article about the case published by the French-
language La Côte newspaper.
The anti-discrimination firms assert that by merely suggesting the
word "Jew" in the auto-complete feature, Google is allegedly
violating a French constitutional law against compiling files on
people that refer to their ethnicity.
In its FAQ for auto-complete, Google explains that the
suggestions "are a reflection of the search activity of all Web users
and the contents of Web pages indexed by Google."
Those results "may include silly or strange or surprising terms and
phrases," the company said.
"While we always strive to algorithmically reflect the diversity of
content on the Web (some good, some objectionable), we also apply a
narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, hate
speech, and terms that are frequently used to find content that
infringes copyrights," Google added.
This is not the first time Google has been charged due to its auto-
complete feature. In 2009, Google was hit with two verdicts in cases
that questioned whether companies were defamed when it
was "suggested" that they were associated with the French word
for "scam." (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/01/12)
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