It seems you can't go a day without hearing about yet another lawsuit against Google for something that's not actually Google's issue. Avatar28 writes in to let us know that Google and the site "Rip Off Report" are both being sued by a building contractor. It turns out that the contractor is upset about some consumer complaints that were posted to the Rip Off Report site, even though he appears to admit that the incident in question resulted in a lawsuit about construction done by the contractor. However, now the problem is that the Rip Off Report story has a lot of Google juice and shows up right below a link to the contractor's own site in a Google search. The contractor claims that this has caused problems for his business (perhaps understandably) and therefore sent letters demanding Rip Off Report take down the story and that Google stop indexing it. Both sites ignored the requests and so now he's suing. Of course, just because you don't like what someone has said about you online, it doesn't mean you get to sue. As the link above notes, both sites are most likely protected by section 230 of the CDA that protects sites from liability concerning the actions of their users. Once again, in suing and getting the press to write about this story, it's likely that these other reports will start to get more attention as well -- meaning that the story is even less likely to fade away. Perhaps a better solution would have been to proactively counter the claims that were made with some evidence so that the Rip Off Report isn't an issue.
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