Argentinian Celebrities Succeed In Forcing Search Engines To Block Search Results On Their Name

from the internet-stupidity dept

Proving, once again, that common sense isn't so common, News.com is reporting on a series of orders handed down by judges in Argentina that have forced Google and Yahoo to completely block searches on certain Argentinian celebrities. Apparently, some Argentinian models who were upset that their pictures were showing up on some porn sites, sued both Yahoo and Google. For anyone who understands just about anything about how the internet works, it would be easy to recognize that this lawsuit was grossly mistargeted. Yahoo and Google have nothing to do with the content on the various websites they point to, but apparently Argentinian models and judges do not seem to recognize this.

So, the judges issued an injunction, demanding that Google and Yahoo block references to the models. This "win" caused other Argentinian celebrities who were upset with content online about them to seek out the same lawyer, who filed similar lawsuits over and over again. Each time, the court has issued an injunction, forcing Google and Yahoo to block results on those individuals. In some cases, they've tried to block specific results, but in at least one case, Yahoo has blocked all results on a search for Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona. The blocks only impact the Argentinian sites, but it still seems fairly ridiculous.

Google is appealing the injunctions, saying that this really seems like something of a shakedown. The company is also trying to explain to the Argentinian government why it should put in place safe harbor laws that protect service providers from being liable for the content created by others. Of course, even without such laws in place, common sense should prevail. Apparently, though, common sense remains less common than commonly believed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Stephen Finch, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:41am

    Which implies...

    That any other person in Argentina who happens to have the same name (which NEVER happens in latin America) and their own website is SOL?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Two things are pathetic about this case:
    1. Some politician are using this to filter out truthful information that they want censored (scandals and such)
    2. Looking for Diego Maradonna does list all the sites where Maradona y mentioned, thanks to google's and yahoo's ortographic correction (epic fail).

     

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  3.  
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    Greg, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:53am

    Re: Which implies...

    Yea.. there's only ONE Miguel Gonzalez in all of Latin America.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Bizarre. Most of the time celebrities don't try to make themselves harder to find. Any celebrity that tries to fight the idea they were ever involved with porn usually makes things worse. Madonna for instance brushed off questions directed to her when playboy dug up some old pictures they had of her when she was young. She pretty much said "So what?" and just moved on. All in all most people don't care about porn and fans will typically flat out ignore it if they celebrity they are in love in just ignores it if it truly bothers them.

     

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  5.  
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    Angry Argentinian, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 11:06am

    Spelling

    Maradona is spelled with only one 'n' as in cocaine.

     

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  6.  
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    Pete Valle, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Which implies...

    Stephen Finch, you probably didn't mean it that way, but I find your comment a bit offensive, stereotypical and downright ignorant. No, we are not all named Juan Gonzalez in Latin America. In fact, since we use both of father's last name and our mother's last name when we write our full names (women don't change their last names in Latin cultures), we probably have a more unique full name than in many other cultures. For example, although Google does index a few "Pedro Valle"s, I have yet to find somebody else who shares my full name, "Pedro Valle Javier."

    By the way, I did a quick Google search on Stephen Finch, and unless you are both an accountant, lawyer, actor, there are quite a few other people who share your name. (Something that NEVER happens in the United States!) :)

     

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  7.  
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    MJ, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Which implies

    Pete Valle: You're an idiot

     

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  8.  
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    Pete Valle, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Which implies

    MJ, thanks for that insightful and highly intelligent counter-argument to the point I was trying to make. You have demonstrated your fantastic intellectual skills. I applaud you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Stuart Gray, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Which implies...

    Pete Valle is an idiot.
    No one is saying that "Only in Latin America are there a lot of people with the same names." it is pointing out that in Latin America that there will be many names that match. Just as in most other countries.
    The mere fact that your geographical are is mentioned dose not make it a racist statement. On the other hand I usually find that those who jump in and see racism everywhere are the type of person who is a loser and looking for some way to blame their pathetic life on someone else.

     

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  10.  
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    Pete Valle, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Which implies...

    It wasn't my intention to say anybody was a racist. As I said in my post, I didn't think the comment was intended to be pejorative in any way, I just thought it might be misconstrued to present a stereotype of Latin American names.

    If I offended Stephen or anybody else with my comment and if I misread the intention, I apologize.

    That being said, just stating that I might have misjudged the comment would have made your contribution so much better. I wasn't looking for trouble and I didn't mean to say "YOUR ALL RACISTZ!1!11!", I was just pointing out something I caught when I read that comment, and now I realize that I might have been incorrect. There is no need for insults. A nice, intelligent argument sufficed.

     

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  11.  
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    kirillian (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 3:09pm

    Pate Valle

    Interesting, Pete...your English vocabulary level is quite a bit higher than that which I normally encounter from people who comment here. It almost makes me wonder if you actually are from South America as you claim...yet...I am then reminded that most Americans have a much lower average reading level (in English) than the rest of the world (in English).

    Still, it does make me laugh...I struggle sometimes to speak at a lower vocabulary level in order to communicate with those around me. It is a remarkably sad commentary that the posession of a strong vocabulary is so rare...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 4:03pm

    Could we please get off the race issue?

     

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  13.  
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    crystalattice (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 10:07pm

    What about TOR?

    If someone is using TOR or another anonymous proxy server, will they still get filtered results? They should be showing up as being outside of Argentina, correct? Which means this injunction is even more lame than it first appears.

     

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  14.  
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    Bunny, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 11:17pm

    Common sense?

    For years companies like the record labels have been mauling consumers' rights to their hearts' content thanks to the glaring vaccuum of common sense in government. There should have been action among tech companies to prevent an ecosystem of ignorance from forming (lest they should find themselves on the receiving end of it someday) but they stood idly by for the most part and did nothing. Some of them with an especially dim view of the public actually collaborated with the shellacking of consumer rights by developing such monstrosities as forced DRM control of end user devices. That was not leading by example.

    Fast forward to today. Who can we say has been serving as the great example of common sense that anyone should follow? Is it the U.S. justice system? Is it the vaunted French legal system (where a newspaper didn't want to be linked by Google)? How about censor-happy China? ...

    Answer: no one. Not one government has kept its ears clean. Even the multinationals that should know better haven't done a whole lot to help things along but rather have been too busy seeing how they could take advantage of any ignorance to want to correct the situation.

    So now that they see this sort of ignorance spreading everywhere and starting to see how it could threaten their business, suddenly it's time to panic? They should called a spade a spade when they had the chance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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