More Lawsuits Against Google... To Protect The Children
from the just-think-of-the-children dept
Can we come up with a name for anyone who declares that something needs to be done "for the children?" We're hearing that phrase way too often. The latest is that a county politician in New York has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging the company has sold advertisements to sites that promote child porn. This is a silly, self-promotional lawsuit, probably filed more for political reasons than anything else. Google's advertising platform is a self-serve platform -- meaning anyone can buy an ad without human intervention. Google does eventually review the ads, but most ads will go up quite quickly automatically. The law here is extremely clear: a service provider is not directly responsible for what people do on their platform. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act talks about this very issue, saying that the service provider should not be treated as the publisher of offensive material -- which pretty much puts Google in the clear. Furthermore, Google does do its best to remove any such links or ads and report them to the authorities. To suggest that the company "promotes and profits from child pornography" is ridiculous and shows a misunderstanding both of the law and how Google works.