Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
bev stayart, lawsuits

Companies:
google



Bev Stayart Strikes Again: Sues Google Over The Infamous 'Levitra' Connection

from the this-post-has-nothing-to-do-with-levitra dept

You may recall Bev Stayart (or Beverly Stayart), the woman who insisted that she was such an upright citizen that it was scandalous (and apparently illegal) that when you did a Yahoo search on her name, some of the links went to questionable sites. So she sued Yahoo. After we wrote about it, she also threatened to sue us as well. She hasn't done that (yet) thankfully. Either way, the court quickly dismissed her lawsuit against Yahoo, seeing as Yahoo was protected by Section 230 of the CDA. She later sued Yahoo again, because Yahoo's "suggested search" connected her name to the pharmaceutical Levitra. As we noted at the time, however, part of the reason for those suggestions were not (as she claimed) that Yahoo "knowingly connected" her name to that drug (along with Viagra and Cialis), but because of her original lawsuit, which noted that a search on her name pointed to websites relating to those drugs.

Of course, given more news coverage of her quixotic legal quest, it seemed only natural that this connection would actually get stronger, since more people were legitimately writing stories about her, and her concerns about being connected to Levitra, Viagra and Cialis. So, I guess it should come as no surprise that she's now suing Google as well, for also "suggesting" "bev stayart levitra" when you start doing a search on "bev stayart." The problem, which she still doesn't seem to get, is not that Google (or Yahoo) are deliberately doing this to her, but the more she complains about it, the stronger the algorithmic connection becomes. As Eric Goldman notes in his post about this latest lawsuit:
Some unsolicited advice for Bev Stayart: stop suing search engines, and stop running vanity searches on the search engines. Life is too short to fret about sploggers!
Indeed.

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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 29 Apr 2010 @ 6:04am

    Why is she bothered

    Levitrs, Cialis and Viagra are perfectly respectable drugs, used to treat distressing medical conditions associated with a variety of diseases, including cancer. If I were a manufacturer of one of these drugs I would be suing her for suggesting that there is something disreputable about them.

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