Japan The Latest Country To Mistakenly Say Google Is 'Responsible' For Autocomplete Results

from the that's-not-how-it-works dept

Following on similar results in France and Italy, a court in Japan has ridiculously ordered Google to change its autocomplete results after a guy there got upset that when people searched for his name, one of the autocomplete results involved his name and a criminal act which he did not commit. As we've explained over and over again, autocomplete is not someone at Google suggesting this is what the guy did, but rather an algorithmic look at what other people are searching for. Censoring that is silly. It's censoring factual information. It is true that the search on those terms leads to an apparently faked document which slandered the guy, but you'd think that any legal action would be targeted at whoever made that site, not at Google.

And, yet, the court has said that Google must block the truthful display of what people have searched for.
"A situation has been created by which illegally submitted documents can be easily viewed," chief judge Hisaki Kobayashi was quoted as saying by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
It seems bizarre that the response to this is to go after Google instead of whoever created and uploaded the false document. Get rid of that document, by the person who allegedly really slandered the guy, and you likely solve the overall problem, without trying to interfere with Google's algorithms.

As the article notes, an injunction had been issued earlier in the case, which Google ignored. Also, Google doesn't even run a data center in Japan, so it's unclear how much jurisdiction the Japanese court even has over forcing Google to change its system.

Either way, it's getting fairly ridiculous to see so many courts blame Google for the fact that it can find stuff that other people did.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    and on appeal

    Hopefully, when Google appeals, the judges will use a Google-style process:

    "We have fully reviewed your case and can confirm that your appeal has been denied. There will be no further appeal.

    To protect our algorithms, we cannot give you details of our determination"

    Justice Google can understand - quick, efficient and completely lacking justice.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Google should just scrap autocomplete all together. I find it to be more annoying then helpful anyway.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Dis is da fault of gooooooogle.

    If dey don't know how to fix da business den dey should not do it cuz it's bad.

    How would they like it if wen dey right in "google is" da results come back wit "evil" or "making us stupid?"

    Dey would cry like baby cry babies.

    And, mikey, u say dat neva mind cuz google no do um jus won algorithim. Den fire da algorithim, stupid. He prolly get to much $$$ as it is.

    Don't pick on da Japanese cuz dey get enough problems like:

    1) dey gotta print as much money as dey get right now by da end of nex year

    2) dey be scrapin wit da china ova da island an gonna send dea forces to practice recapturing one island in California pretty soon

    3) dey all stay irradiated

    4) no more oil

    5) da china people not gonna buy dea cars no mo

    so, jus giv'um time and dey goin crack up anywayz

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    With bated breath and a large box of popcorn I wait for automatic self driving cars and the legal commodity acts that to follow.

    The car ran me off the road. Who is at fault? The car? The owner of the car? The manufacturer of the car? There are endless possibilities.

    The Libyans solved this problem a long time ago. They put the car in jail. And, if you think the car did any more craze things then you have not spent a month walking in the desert in the summer.

    Maybe that is what the judge should do put the search engine in jail for a month. No use by anyone and see if the search engine generates any more libelous results.

     

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

    So Google isn't responsible

    I am trying to imagine how Google cannot be responsible for it's own software and the results it produces. Such a big company with absolutely no control on how their stuff works.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    QuietgyInTheCorner (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

    Shoot the messenger

    It's always been easier to "shoot the messenger" than it has to "fix the problem" - this is true whether you're Google ... or a "Court of (theoretical) Justice"

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

    Just turn it off

    I'll be honest: I'm not a fan of autocomplete. I'd rather that Google just turned it off altogether. At least then, I wouldn't have autocomplete trying to jump in and "fix it for me" when I'm trying to search a domain name and autocomplete puts in a search phrase instead.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Re: So Google isn't responsible

    You are apparently as ignorant as the Japanese court.

    The whole point behind autocomplete is when a bunch of people search for "horse with no name is a dufus", that phrase springs to the top of the drop-down list when other people type in "horse"

    Google doesn't know or care what the specific search terms are, and writing in some sort of lexical parser to filter out specific situations like this is just ludicrous.

    So the only recourse Google has is to simply turn off the autocomplete feature altogether, which is sad for the people who actually DO use it.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:37pm

    Re: So Google isn't responsible

    There is control. The whole point of Google Autocomplete is to show what other people are searching for. Not to show you what the truth is. It's not possible for Google to individually verifying every single search phrase or website that shows up in its search results.

     

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

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Bullshit. If google isn't responsible, who is?

    This is laughably poor apologism.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:50pm

    Re: So Google isn't responsible

    For about the same reason car and gun manufacturers aren't held responsible when their products are used for illegal or otherwise objectionable actions?

    Just like car and gun manufacturers create their products, sell them and thereafter have no real control over them, google programed in an algorithm that takes into account what people are searching for most, and uses that for the autocomplete results, with no further interference from them.

    As-is, with the hands-off approach they take regarding it, no one but the other users are responsible for what shows up, as it's their actions/searches that cause the various 'suggestions' to pop up. However if google did start intentionally modifying what autocomplete shows, then they would be able to be held personally responsible for the results, as that would mean that they were, at least in part, choosing what did and did not show up as an autocomplete result.

     

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    It wasn't me, it was my algorithm!

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    Well, considering how the algorithm works, there are two possible parties responsible.

    1) The many people who search for that particular combination of words

    2) The person who allegedly really slandered the guy

    Take your pick.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re:

    And the party providing the algorithm?

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You know, to save time, why don't you tell people what you think the algorithm is programed to do, because I can't help but suspect that what you think it's programed to do, and what it is actually programmed to do, are two very different things indeed.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Alana (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    Re:

    RTFA.

    (Read The Fucking Article).

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Ferel (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What part of "an algorithm's result depends on users' input (that's plural in cases of multiple sources, FYI)" did you not learn in high school? Google can't control what other users type into the search field.

    In the words of a brilliant scholar: "Shit goes in, shit comes out; the math gives no shits."

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And the party providing the computers for the party providing the algorithm? Why stop at Google?

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 10:02pm

    Re:

    Do you have a typing impediment?

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Just turn it off

    You can turn it off for your personal google.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 11:36pm

    Re:

    Others (I for one) find it useful.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Apr 24th, 2013 @ 11:42pm

    Re:

    Whoa, ACTroll infestation

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:18am

    Re: So Google isn't responsible

    "I am trying to imagine how Google cannot be responsible for it's own software and the results it produces."

    Do you try to imagine a lot of things that people aren't saying?

    The point is that the software works PERFECTLY - it correctly shows what other people are searching for when you type in a term. The problem is that Google are being blamed as if they generated those search terms. They didn't. They're showing the correct results, whether people actually like the truth or not.

    Unfortunately, some people are too clueless to work out where the problem lies - or at least just want to blame the biggest target rather than the actual culprit.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    Good. Now show me where on the Google search page that they explain this, preferable before the results come up.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:45am

    Re: Just turn it off

    Google provides the option for you to turn it off yourself. Why do you want Google to force your personal preferences on to everybody else just because you don't like it?

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The party providing the algorithm is providing the correct output from the data they receive. Either you're calling for the algorithm to be broken so that it returns incorrect data (stupid), or you're asking Google to manually police the output of said algorithm so that some poor waif doesn't get their little feelings hurt (stupid, and expensive).

    You're literally asking why Google doesn't break it's perfectly working system because someone doesn't like the results. Do you also attack Sony because you saw something on a TV channel you didn't like, since Sony's device was the one that displayed it?

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:05am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    They're the second option in your user settings, you lazy git. Why would you need someone to tell you to change settings in the settings box? Do you also complain that Microsoft doesn't tell you how to change settings when Windows does something you don't like?

    You could also use something to search for how to turn them off - say, Google - or use a different search engine that doesn't do things in ways you're too dumb to change.

    Stop being a lazy ass and pick one.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    Ah apologies, I thought you were the dumbass talking about turning off autocomplete in the search engine, now I see you're the moron who just doesn't understand how algorithms work.

    So, why do Google need to explain everything they do before they do it? Do you also expect them to list how their search algorithm and pageranks work before their search reuslts come up as well, or is this just a stupid way of trying to deflect blame back onto Google even though they're doing nothing wrong.

    The fault lies with the idiots who don't like truthful results, not the people providing the algorithm.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Dingledangle the Swung, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    and it already does come up with evil and making us stupid

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:30am

    Re:

    I hardly ever type full searches any more. I deliberately pause after I think I've typed enough for Autocomplete to find what I want, and it often has. Don't know how it could be more annoying than helpful.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can have freedom, which includes occasional annoyances, and lots of people saying things you don't like, or you can have some form ot totalitarian regime, where force is used against you if yoy disagree with the regime. The latter is usually much worse unless you are part of a ruling elite.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 2:49am

    Re:

    "If google isn't responsible, who is?"

    Alright, lets run with your assertion that Google is responsible. So what? Why should providing accurate, factual results that show the most common searches associated with particular terms be a punishable offense? What exactly are you you complaining about?

    "This is laughably poor apologism."

    Well nobody here is apologising for Google because they haven't done anything wrong, so I guess you're right about that.

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:29am

    Re:

    That's your opinion. And incidentally you can disable it. Check the link below.

    https://www.google.com.br/preferences

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:33am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/106230?hl=en

    Took me 2 seconds to find. Notice that they do stop autocomplete from functioning on specific categories but this has to be included as exception. And it still doesn't mean people don't search for it.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, because road operators are responsible for any stance of transportation of illegal stuff in their roads. Because the gun manufacturer is responsible for ppl using their guns to kill others. Because car dealers are responsible for ppl speeding with the cars they sold.

    Thanks for playing now go back to the dumb land, will you?

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:38am

    Re:

    It wasn't me, it was the car I sold that was used to transport drugs!

    Two can play the game. And guess who just won? ;)

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because Google has complete control over its system and algorithm while the supplier of a computer does not.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just as Google has no control over the user input that the algorithm uses to generate its results.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Complete control over a system and algorithm does not allow it to produce results that require a working crystal ball. Asking Google to avoid results that might offend someone is at the same level as asking you to fly by flapping your arms.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I think that once Google is put on notice that its autocomplete feature is defaming a person, then they should take responsibility for it.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's reasonable to hold them responsible for it once they have notice of it. Why is that so unworkable?

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    Nice try, Bing.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re:

    You haven't won a thing. There's a difference between selling a car to someone who later uses it to do something illegal without the seller having any knowledge of the illegal activity and Google's autocomplete function which can defame persons over which Google has complete control and about which Google can be put on notice. You guys seem incapable of understanding the nuances of these things--Mike especially.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you think an autocomplete algorithm is capable of defaming someone, you're either a moron or really don't understand how it works. It's not *saying* anything, only returning data. Whether the autocomplete uses search results or the search terms being used, it's simply returning what is being said by others.

    Shooting the messenger is idiotic, and it does nothing to stop defamation - since the "defamation" was happening before any algorithm caught it, and will almost certainly be visible afterwards. Hiding the result from Google's algorithms does nothing to stop what's being said, and such ridiculous, ineffective censorship isn't really something they should be getting involved in.

    Suing over that is like suing the owner of a building because you can see some offensive graffiti on their wall, and forcing them to hire people with paintbrushes in case someone does it again. Why not sue the graffiti artists?

    Also, isn't intent a factor in defamation? How can an algorithm have intent?

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No. I have far better reasons to attack Sony...

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because it opens the door to anybody manipulating search results by demanding that alter its suggestions to suite the requesters view of the world. In particular this would allow government to remove words and phrases that they do not like from auto-complete. this would allow the US government to remove America from suggestions starting with 'political corruption'.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    By your logic if I rig a shotgun to point at a door and shoot if the door is open and then someone not knowing about the shotgun then opens the door and dies I did not commit murder.

    US courts have ruled otherwise even though some people have found this to be a most effective method of killing people.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    Like most teck idiots you completely fail to divorce what is possible by software or physically and what is acceptable legally and morally.

    Just because one has a hammer and crowbar that does not automatically make one a burgler nor does it make one a carpenter.

    The software works as designed.

    Is Google responsible for the design of its software or not?

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:19am

    How all this all works

    For those horses and humans that are too stupid to know how to use a search engine to find out how a search engine auto-complete works here's a decent link for you (assuming you know how hypertext links work):

    http://searchengineland.com/how-google-instant-autocomplete-suggestions-work-62592

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So google is supposed to catch every instance of defamation via autocomplete?

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    What a ridiculous analogy, and one that totally misses the point as well as what tom said above.

    In your silly tale I assume you want Google to be the person who loaded and positioned the shotgun. But they're not. Google are simply the manufacturers of the shotgun. It's working exactly as its intended to, and works the same way whether or not it's positioned as you describe and whether or not live ammo is used. They cannot be blamed just because someone doesn't like the result or because it was used maliciously without their involvement.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    The issue raised has nothing to do with the design of the software, it is suggesting what is popular in searches. It has to do with someone not liking the results.
    It is highly unlikely that his name is unique, so how is the suggestion defamation?

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    So, you can't understand logic so you have to resort to (misspelled) insults? OK, let's see if we can put this through your thick little skull.

    There is no moral issue. Google's algorithm works exactly the same no matter what the input is. If someone decided to use a blender to prepare a soup made from poisonous mushrooms instead of a nice healthy soup, the manufacturer of the blender is not responsible for the output being poisonous. The issue is with the content being input, which are not their responsibility or creation.

    Clear?

    "Is Google responsible for the design of its software or not?"

    Yes. It's design is to take input from user searches and return the most likely matches based on the word you're typing. It's not Google's fault that one of these results offended your cowardly tiny little mind because users were inserting those terms. The algorithm worked exactly the same way, and Google didn't change the result to offend you.

    Clear?

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    By your logic, the company that makes shotguns committed murder, because they rigged the shotgun to fire when the trigger was pulled.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Given that names are very very rarely unique, why did he think the suggestion referred to him?

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They need to wave their magic wands, just like YouTube are meant to know what's infringing despite Viacom not even managing to work it out regarding the content they themselves uploaded.

    It's about what can be fobbed off to an easy target they can sue later for failing, not about what's possible or logical.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Some Other AC (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK, fucktard, since you obviously fail at any level of basic logic and mathematical comprehension, I will try to 'splain it to you one more time.
    The algorithm that Google is using is a tool. In and of itself it is a piece of code used to take input from users in a given region(google.com, google.cn, etc...) who are searching for subjects and then present this information back to other users who start a search that matches previous searches.
    It is not Google's responsibility to nanny the users of the world and their search topics. They are simply aggregating them and presenting this information back to other users who search for similar topics.
    If you put flour, milk, sugar, yeast, etc...into a blender you get dough. You cannot change this output unless you change the input(i.e. the ingredients). Output is dependent on the input. It is really simple. Hell, I have met 3yr old children who understand this concept better than you do.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re:

    Or the parents who named the kid after a notorious crook.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Just turn it off

    not as far as I can tell... neither Chrome nor my Google preferences page seems to have a checkbox to disable autocomplete.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Just turn it off

    not as far as I can tell... neither Chrome nor my Google preferences page seems to have a checkbox to disable autocomplete.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    Google should just scrap autocomplete all together. I find it to be more annoying then helpful anyway


    I find it incredibly annoying as well. Fortunately, it's easy to block. Yay NoScript!

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    This is bordering on genius satire.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Just turn it off

    I'm with you in that it's annoying, but I don't see the need for google to remove the feature.

    You can turn it off in google preferences -- but you have to have a google account to do this, so that doesn't really count.

    What I do is use NoScript, and prevent google scripts from running. Works like a charm.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are advocating pure censorship. Google is presenting factual information that it didn't even generate: what users are searching for. You are advocating that they specifically censor that factual information just because it hurts some people's feelings.

    If you're going to advocate censorship, you should have some really solid reason to do so. Some major harm or something. At least something more than being insulted.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Autocomplete cannot defame anyone. It's showing what people are searching for (a question). It's not presenting the results of autocomplete as assertions of truth (an answer).

    There is no defamation there.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: So Google isn't responsible

    So I imagine you're rooting for Viacom in the Youtube suit then? After all, by your logic, Google should be responsible for the results returned by the algorithms that handle autocomplete/video serving based on input provided by users, and should be liable if those results are found to defame someone/infringe someone's copyright.

    Right?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    I'll say. It looks like an accurate portrayal of darryl, but needs more repeated punctuation marks.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then - you know - actually prove defamation occurred.

    Insisting that links make you liable is bullshit and has already been covered in the case of Jon Newton vs. Wayne Crooke.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    Really, there's only four possible explanations:

    1) His name really is quite unique
    2) The search results result from that query referred unambiguously to him (in which case, why not go after those pages instead of Google?)
    3) The "statement" he claims is defamatory is, in fact, true and he recognizes it (in which case, it's not defamatory in the US.)
    4) His egotism knows no bounds

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    > By your logic if I rig a shotgun to point
    > at a door and shoot if the door is open and
    > then someone not knowing about the shotgun
    > then opens the door and dies I did not commit
    > murder.

    That's not any kind of logic at all. Analogies aren't you're strong point, are they?

    All Google is doing is letting the user see what other people are searching for. That's factual and true information, and cannot be the basis of a defamation award (at least in the U.S.).

    This is just another example of people bizarrely believing that something that would be perfectly legal off the internet suddenly becomes actionable because computers! online! are involved.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: So Google isn't responsible

    > Good. Now show me where on the Google search
    > page that they explain this, preferable before
    > the results come up.

    Nowhere. They don't explain that the sun rises in the east, either, or that water is wet.

    Some things are presumed not to need explanation for anyone who is a rational breathing adult human.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re:

    Re 2) he is complaining about autocomplete offering a word in association with his name, not the search results.
    Add 3A) Someone else with the same name committed the crime, and the potential results do not refer to him.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    > If google isn't responsible, who is?

    Google is responsible for showing what's actually out there on the internet.

    If reality makes you look bad, that's not Google's fault.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just turn it off

    You didn't look far enough. Whether or not you're signed into Google, it's the second option on the first settings page (called "Google instant predictions, set it to never show instant results).

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Some people find it annoying, some people find it very useful. The problem comes when one group thinks that their personal preference trumps everyone else's. At least unlike some companies, Google actually gives you an option to turn off the annoying crap...

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just turn it off

    Nope. That's something else.

    Autocomplete is when the text box you're entering text in to automatically fills in words for you.

    Instant is when Google automatically starts bringing back search results before you're done typing them. The two work together (Instant returns results based on autocomplete), but they're two different things.

    I have turned off Instant (because it basically doesn't work anyway), but I still get automatic completion in the search box.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    John85851 (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    How did this get into the court system?

    How did this get into the court system in the first place? Why didn't the lawyer tell his client that Google was merely displaying results of other people's searches? Why didn't a court refuse to hear it on the grounds that:
    1) Google is only programmed to return results from other websites and
    2) Like the article said, Google doesn't have data centers in Japan, so the Japanese court has no jurisdiction.

    But, as usual, it's easier to blame and sue the delivery system instead of the content creator. Plus, it's far easier (though completely wrong) to sue a company with big pockets like Google than to find the guy who posted the original slanderous documents and tell him to remove them.

    This case sounds like the myriad of cases where people try to sue their local TV station over content in a network TV show they don't like. Again, it's easier to sue the local TV station than the producers and directors of the TV show.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    but your asking people to actually learn to use the tools they choose, rather then just complain about them...

    i mean i learned long ago how to disable the filtering on google that kept me from getting the results i wanted at times, it takes what 5 clicks or less to enable/disable stuff like filtering and auto complete?

    again though, your asking people to learn to use the tools they choose......how could you.....they want whats perfect for them, and whats perfect for them should be perfect for everybody....

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:47pm

    a simple fix

    disable auto complete by default, this would be kind anoying for those of us who use it constantly BUT the up side for google, since most of these people are either to stupid or to lazy to learn to use the tools they choose the problem would just go away.

    i mean honestly, with the number of people i have seen say they use noscript to block auto complete, rather then just disabling it on google....


    honestly, google should just disable it by default, then make you click threw a few warning windows when you want to enable it for your account, the windows could explain how it works and require you to click "i understand" even if you dont read it.....

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2013 @ 9:49pm

    Good for a laugh, autocomplete hasn't done anything but hinder and annoy me since it's conception. While your at it Japan, why not hit them for searching words you dod not search for, like searchign for void and getting many hits with empty, or nothing... fucking clownshoes.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just turn it off

    Hmmm.... My apologies, the last time I tried the settings it did turn off both but it appears that you're correct - instant is disabled but autocomplete remains.

    A Google search suggests that there's no longer a specific option to turn of the autocomplete itself. The workaround is to use the following URL to search: https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0. Bookmark that instead of google.com and autocomplete is disabled. I tested and it works for me. I would be nice if they supplied the option to turn off in settings again, but this is a painless way to get the same results.

    But, seriously, this is information I found within a minute by using the very tool you're complaining about. That's less work than you put into complaining in the first place.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just turn it off

    But, seriously, this is information I found within a minute by using the very tool you're complaining about. That's less work than you put into complaining in the first place.

    I know there are various hacks to turn it off. That was never the point.

    The point is that it's a buggy, unreliable feature that Google does not have a clear way to disable.

    I guess I'm turning in to an old grouch: I appreciate the little UI tricks that Google is adding to the search page, but those also destroy the simple elegance of what Google is.

    It's kind of like lowering, chopping, and adding ground effects to a 1955 Chevy... there are certain things that were better before they were "fixed."

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This