Google 'defames French user by linking his name to rape in searches'

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London, Sept 28 (ANI): A French computer user has accused Google of defaming him after the Internet technology giant linked his name to the word "rapist" in web searches.

Court documents said the function, which suggests options and phrases as a user types, linked the man's identity to words including "rapist", "satanist", "rape," and "prison", reports The Telegraph.

In a turning-point decision, the Superior Court of Paris found Google guilty of the "public slandering of a private individual".

Google said it would appeal the decision, which also named Eric Schmidt, its chief executive. A spokesperson said that the searches are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely objective factors including (the) popularity of search terms.

According to French reports, the man was convicted of the "corruption of a minor" and sentenced to three years in jail earlier this year. However, he is considered innocent under French law until all of his appeals have been exhausted.

The court also ordered the company to remove the "harmful" suggestions from the search and adopt measures to prevent it from reoccurring. It added that the search function was not illegal. While the court awarded "symbolic" damages of one euro, it ordered the company pay 5,000 euros (4254 pounds) in costs. (ANI)

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