Google’s ‘Scam’ Suggestion Earns A Court Reprimand

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It’s not really Google’s day in France, is it? First there was the Zelnik report calling for a “Google (NSDQ: GOOG) tax” on online advertising. And now this: a French appeals court has ruled against Google in a libel case involving the Google Suggest auto-typing feature, writes Softpedia.

The Centre National Prive de Formation a Distance (CNFDI), a long-distance learning institution, last year brought a defamation suit against against the internet giant, based on the terms that follow “CNFDI” when you type that term into The first one that comes up after the abbreviation is “arnaque”, which translates as “scam” or “swindle”…

Originally, the French court had sided with Google, which claimed that the terms are generated by an automated algorithm based on search terms that users enter. Now the higher court says that Google should remove the offensive expression.

Google’s algorithms have landed companies in court before. Last year, a Dutch news portal was sued by a local BMW dealer that was listed on the site as “bankrupt”. The site was using Google search, which had linked to unrelated items together.

Google has not yet said whether it would appeal the decision.