Sunday May 22, 2016

Court: Google Doesn't Have First Amendment Right To Drop Site From Search Results

Can a spammy company sue Google for dropping its sites by accusing them of being anti-competitive? A court in Florida may be entertaining the idea, although the case is young and the author’s points may be greatly exaggerated.

Google's web spam team decided that e-ventures was spamming as well, and removed its website. The company sued under a variety of theories, but mainly claims that it did nothing that violated any of Google's stated rules -- and furthermore that Google was misleading in some of its public statements about what it will and won't remove from the web, as well as how it alerts people to those removals. Google hit back with two responses in a motion to dismiss. First, it said that it's protected under CDA 230 for removing content and second that the choices it makes on how the search results are ranked are protected by the First Amendment. Somewhat surprisingly, the district court has rejected both of these arguments.