Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
bev stayart, lawsuits


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!

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    Quick Brown Fox, 28 Apr 2010 @ 5:25pm

    Streisand Effect

    Yet another example of the Streisand effect.

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

  2. identicon
    bev stayart levitra, 28 Apr 2010 @ 5:26pm

    bev stayart cialis

    bev stayart Screwed herself for life.

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

  3. identicon
    logic error, 28 Apr 2010 @ 5:51pm

    just did it

    I put "bev stayart" on my goggle search bar, and sure enough "bev stayart levitra" popped up, with this article at the very top.

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

  4. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Re: just did it

    Huh. I got "Bev Stayart is a skank" as the first result. "Beverly Stayart pops Levitra like it was Tic-Tacs" was the second, though.

    Might be a temporary glitch.

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

  5. icon
    Brian (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: just did it

    No, I don't think its a glitch. I got those and similar results too :P

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

  6. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: just did it

    Related, the quickest way to find the earlier techdirt article on her is to google "Beverly Stayart skank" (no joke!)

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

  7. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 6:49pm

    So I have come to a decision.

    I will now with heavy heart and because i must sue Yahoo for stating that I am awesome.

    Not that they have or anything, it's because I now know it is the only way that when I do a search on google in later months whenever I type in my name it will say

    "G Thompson IS AWESOME!"


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

  8. identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, 28 Apr 2010 @ 7:37pm

    ya really

    i think we all should sue for our names
    why not make a ockery of the justice system as it already is becoming thanks to IP crap

    this leads no where just. FOR once im totally on googles side here. ONE has to remember there are you idiot ( to this suing party ) more people on earth then just you. Society may allow you some rights of privacy but NOT YOUR NAME.

    next up NAME MARKING
    and then no one can have , use , or speak of your name without expressed written permission, except a corupt govt official that is above the law.
    waves at britain and france

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

  9. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 8:05pm


    Bennie? I think that's sort of unnecessary.

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

  10. icon
    TW Burger (profile), 28 Apr 2010 @ 9:37pm

    What's in a Name Association?

    I searched "Bev Stayart" using several engines and there was no match to any drugs of any type nor any association with any other objectionable materials in the first several hundred links.

    I did find in the search results a number of sites that could be associated, legitimately, with her in a number of ways. By simply ignoring some and focusing on others and using a very broad effort to perform guilt by association I can come up with all sorts of very real embarrassments.

    First, apparently the links to accurate and factual reports of the lawsuits she has filed against search engines support the allegation that she has a quixotic, sociopathic, and possibly paranoid nature.

    Secondly, she seems to have a fascination with right wing, Christian extremist war and weapons sites operating under the guise of military history groups as is apparent in her membership on sites such as "Arm Chair General":

    a hawkish, rightwing site where members discuss military history and includes one named "HiredGoon".

    and "The Patriot Files" featuring topics like "Jane Fonda committed treason, and that's NOT a myth":

    with fellow members "hellspawn254683" and "psycko".

    As Ms. Stayart should plainly see an internet search can be interpreted in any way you wish to see it and depends upon the subjectivity of the reader. Is she a right wing nut job that associates with war mongering freaks? Is she a paranoid, nut-job, gold digger looking to fleece big companies? No, of course not but it's easy to make it look that way.

    Ms. Stayart: Facts and information are not the whole truth and search engine links are often never even close to the facts or anything resembling information.

    No one would have logically associated her with Viagra and Cialis although now I do find that if I combine "Bev Stayart Viagra Cialis" into a search the internet "pharmacies" have now included her name into the search terms of their web pages.

    As Quick Brown Fox pointed out: "Yet another example of the Streisand effect". If she stays quiet and behaves the internet will correct itself and ignore her. Listen to Eric Goldman Ms. Stayart or start selling Viagra and Cialis on the internet; you have a better than average association with the drugs now that you put so much effort into creating it.

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

  11. identicon
    Alan Bleiweiss, 29 Apr 2010 @ 12:22am

    poor Beveraly Stayart

    Ah - the trials and tribulations of dealing with online reputation management. I question the intelligence level of people who do this. Seriously.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2010 @ 12:48am

    What is the point of continuously writing about this person and these particular lawsuits? They are not the strangest. They are not the most frequent. They do not display the biggest misunderstandings of the Internet and how it works. What, then, is so special about them? Is it just that they present such a tantalizing opportunity to remind the world for the umpteenth time that the phrase "Streisand effect" was coined right here? God forbid we stop beating that dead horse after half a decade.

    Maybe you can parlay it into an SNL skit called "the neologists." You and Sam Schwartz and Joseph Epstein can all be in a room together. Maybe it can be located in a sort of shed behind the Five Timers Club.

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

  13. identicon
    John Doe, 29 Apr 2010 @ 4:20am


    AC - What is the point of worrying about it?

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

  14. identicon
    blah blah, 29 Apr 2010 @ 5:38am


    That's right ... one should only address the absolute most outragous items of the day, ignoring all else. This would make the AC happy.

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

  15. 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.

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

  16. identicon
    vyvyan, 29 Apr 2010 @ 7:21am

    How old is she? I know some people go nutz with age, may be she is one of them.

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

  17. icon
    Richard (profile), 29 Apr 2010 @ 8:06am


    What is the point of continuously writing about this person and these particular lawsuits? They are not the strangest. They are not the most frequent. They do not display the biggest misunderstandings of the Internet and how it works. What, then, is so special about them?

    No it's because every time Techdirt writes about it it makes the problem worse!

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

  18. icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), 29 Apr 2010 @ 9:54am

    I wish I had the kind of money that I could waste a bunch of it on frivolous lawsuits that have no chance of succeeding. Too bad she doesn't donate that money to charity instead of wasting it on legal fees.

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

  19. identicon
    Morrison, 18 May 2010 @ 6:52am

    Based on the fact that Xerox has just sued Google and Yahoo this month, and the fact that Google has been kicked out of China, and is facing massive privacy investigations by the European Union, it is time for them to face the music! Both Yahoo and Google were started by foreigners who weren't even born in the U.S.! It is about time we wake up and see what foreign immigrants are doing to morals in the U.S.!

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

  20. identicon
    cobbie, 18 May 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Mike Masnick is a Russian who should have stayed behind the Iron Curtain. He is the most disgusting piece of work to crawl out from behind the Soviet Wall. He is only equalled by the disgusting filth he associates with on the Internet, who mock him behind his back. Yes, Mike Masnick is the proverbial scum the cat dragged in. His verbal rantings are the tirade of an imbecile. Go back to the filth you crawled out of, Michael Masnick.

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

  21. identicon
    John, 5 Jun 2010 @ 8:49am

    Looks like Google and Yahoo are being dragged into the muck for privacy invasion all over the world. Google's days are numbered, because it is under attack in Europe, the U.S., China, and South America. Yahoo has lost so many lawsuits in the past few years that I stopped counting. Google is the "Be Evil" company.

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

  22. identicon
    Jason, 6 Aug 2010 @ 2:29pm

    This is a direct question for Mike Masnick: Why don't you start a blog about Google's massive legal problems, starting with the 38-state investigation by Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal into Google's privacy violations? You and your "buddy" Eric Goldman who calls himself a "lawyer" have not uttered one word about this 38-state investigation of Google in any blog or article on the Internet! Why are you offering no coverage whatsoever of Google's huge privacy violations? By the way, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, and about 20 other countries have also begun criminal investigations of Google. Do you think that by not discussing this overwhelming issue you are succeeding in covering it up? I know that you are not a lawyer even though you pretend to be one by calling this blog "Legal Issues." You are actually a foul-mouthed, illegal immigrant who should have stayed in Russia where you were born. Eric Goldman is, I believe, an attorney but he has sullied his reputation forever by refusing to comment on this 38-state Google investigation anywhere on the Internet! What kind of an attorney who says he is a specialist in internet law does that? Eric Goldman is a pathetic sham and his "legal" opinions are a joke!

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

  23. identicon
    baxter, 9 Aug 2010 @ 1:30pm

    This is not just a 38-state "investigation" but a combined class action lawsuit against Google for privacy violations in all of these 38 states going back at least 3 years. Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal is the lead plaintiff of the 38-state coalition. Mr. Blumenthal has said that all of his questions to Google have resulted in more questions than answers regarding Google's privacy violations! Google is apparently very good at evasion and equivocation. But wait until this gets to court. The judge is now considering the best jurisdiction in which to consolidate these multi-state lawsuits. Sergey Brin will certainly be faced with giving more detailed answers than "We screwed up" which is what he initially told the media! Sergey Brin is an Idiot Savant, a fact long recognized outside the U.S., particularly in Europe. He has inexplicable math memory talent, but is certifiably below average in all other skill sets. Idiot Savants such as Sergey Brin typically live in institutions where scientists can study their behavior. Sergey Brin has demonstrated a complete lack of management skills, a devastating lack of human relations skills, and an overall inability to comprehend right from wrong, in short a complete lack of morals. Sergey Brin is now under the microscope, as are Larry Paige, Eric Schmidt and all the other crooks at Google! Did I also mention the 30 lawsuits that have been filed against Google internationally for privacy violations? Where are Eric Goldman and Michael Masnick when we need them to analyze these complex legal issues for us? Is the demise of Google too much for them to take? Apparently they cannot face their own simultaneous demise. Goldman is a particular jackass for not mentioning Google's massive legal troubles anywhere in his columns! Does he think people are as stupid as he is? Goldman and Masnick have zero credibility!

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

  24. identicon
    RickT, 14 Aug 2010 @ 7:50am

    The WSJ weekend edition dated August 14-15, 2010, has a terrific article about Google's hubris and self-undoing. The WSJ interviewed Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, for his take on the fact that Google's stock price has fallen $250 since the beginning of the year. The WSJ also questioned Schmidt about the growing antitrust, privacy and patent scrutiny of Google both in the U.S. and internationally. Instead of answering any of the WSJ's questions, Schmidt insists Google is on a trajectory to world dominance and that Google is an undefeatable force. Sound like the rantings of a madman? Google ignores the facts and surrounds itself with yes-men while it pursues its singleminded path towards inevitable self-destruction!

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

  25. identicon
    Bob, 6 Jun 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Congrats to Bev Stayart for her legal victory in Walworth County Circuit Court, Wisconsin. Bev Stayart has scored a monumental legal win in her battle against the online dating service AdultFriendFinder, headquartered in California. Stayart sued AdultFriendFinder in Walworth County Circuit Court, claiming that it used her name on its own website and affiliated websites worldwide to advertise and register new members to its online dating service. Stayart, who is very active on the internet as an animal rights advocate and genealogist, asserts that AdultFriendFinder used her name, without her knowledge, consent or payment, to promote its own advertising and attract new members. AdultFriendFinder has over a million members in Wisconsin alone, including Walworth County. On April 17, 2012, Judge James L. Carlson, following a hearing, orally denied the defendant's motion to dismiss and allowed Stayart's lawsuit to proceed. Judge Carlson ruled that Stayart had stated a claim for violation of her right of privacy and publicity under Wisconsin law. On May 16, 2012, Judge Carlson signed a written order reflecting his ruling. Stayart is represented by attorney John M. Murphy, of the firm Murphy, Volbrecht & Kuehn, S.C., in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. This is just the first of which I predict will be a string of victories for Stayart!

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

  26. identicon
    Bob, 6 Jun 2012 @ 7:24pm

    The lawsuit Stayart filed against AdultFriendFinder in Walworth County Circuit Court, Wisconsin, is Case No. 2011-CV-1115. This is a significant victory for Stayart!

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

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