Google has lost its legal battle against a Colombian furniture dealer. According to El Tiempo, the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the business, which argued that Google Inc. and Google Colombia tarnished its name on the internet.
Google was forced to take down a blog from its Blogger.com platform that defamed the business, which is located in Ibagué, Tolima. The owner filed an injunction against the tech giant after a series of anonymous publications on Blogger.com.
“The company run by Carlos, is dedicated to defrauding people through various media. They ask for an advance or the full pay first, then runs away with your money,” said one post. According to the owner, who wished to not be identified by in his real in El Tiempo, these statements are false.
The owner spent two years to clear his and his business’ name. He was up against Google’s protection statement, which reads “Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a content intermediary. We allow users to create content, but we do not take responsibility for this.” That statement is also in line with Article 230 of the U.S. Decency in Communications Act, which doesn’t require Blogger to remove material that is allegedly defamatory or libellous.
The Constitutional Court however determined the anonymous comments directly violated the plantiff’s right to honor and a good name, which led to Google having to remove the blog containing the comments.
“It’s necessary to advise both companies (both Google Inc. and Google Colombia Ltda) that in exercising actives in Colombia they’re obliged to respect the rights of users and consumers of telecommunications services and internet in the country.”
The court also ordered the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications to create a regulation that protects people from defaming and slanderous comments over the web.
Furthermore, Google created a page that allows users to file motions to remove any violating content from any of the company’s platforms.