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Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2018

Google not responsible for checking links, court says

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Araweelo News Network

Google

Berlin(ANN)-An appeals court in Germany has decided to uphold a lower court ruling which stipulates that Google has no responsibility to check the content of links generated by its search engine to see whether they are free from defamatory content.

Presiding Judge Gregor Galke, from the Federal Court of Justice, ruled on Tuesday that “a general responsibility to regulate is incompatible with the function of search engines,” adding that forcing Google and others to check every link would practically paralyze the service.

“Without the help of such search engines it would be impossible for individuals to get meaningful use out of the internet due to the unmanageable flood of data it contains,” said the court in a statement.

“Instituting a general duty to inspect the content would seriously call into question the business model of search engines, which is approved by lawmakers and wanted by society.”

The verdict came after a German couple brought a case against Google, arguing that the US-based internet company should be responsible for blocking links to sites where they said they were defamed.

The German court, however, said Google was supposed to act on links where users have reported “concrete evidence” of violations of law, such as child pornography or acts of violence.

Calls for removal of online content directly related to people are part of a broader debate dubbed the “right to be forgotten” which came in May 2014, when the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled that individuals can request search engines to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results appearing under searches for their names. Google has accepted to remove more than one million website links since then.

The ruling to exempt Google from monitoring search results comes against the backdrop of similar calls on European regulators to force internet companies to improve their monitoring of the content, especially those related to violence. The advocates of such calls argue that many of the attacks launched against civilians in Western Europe over the past years have been orchestrated using social networks or have been inspired by online content.

Those providing social networking services like Facebook or video-sharing website YouTube have actively sought to increase checks in a bid to avoid punishments.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Info@araweelonews.com jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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