Web search engine Stories July 10, 2015

Google fined $16k in Brazil over ‘morbid images’

Google and Facebook have each been slapped with a R$50,000 fine ($16k USD) in Brazil for not removing or blocking morbid images. The move comes after pictures of a Brazilian musician in a mortuary made their way online. Christian Araujo, the artist in question, died alongside his girlfriend in a car crash last month.

The Guardian reports that Judge Denise Gondim de Mendonca declared both companies had acted in “bad faith” after ignoring an earlier ruling. In response to today’s news, Google had the following statement prepared:

The Marco Cilvil of the Internet (local law which regulates removals) requires that any court order for content removal specify the URLs to be removed. In parallel, we have already taken down many of the videos which have been flagged by users due to YouTube’s policies regarding offensive content.

Facebook is yet to comment officially on the ruling, but Google has stated that it will be appealing the decision. In an age where it’s so easy to share any kinds of images online, it brings in to question how much of this can be blamed on Google and how much is down to those who took the photographs or shot the videos to begin with.

Not to be too crude or disrespectful, but I couldn’t think of much worse than someone pulling out their smartphone to snap a picture of my dead body lying in a morgue. The fact the picture is posted online afterwards is more of a side effect, surely?

That’s not to downgrade the severity of the companies supposedly not taking action. As huge corporations, they too have a responsibility to ensure these kinds of images aren’t seen by anyone. It certainly brings in to question where the line should be drawn.

Web search engine Stories June 18, 2015

Google controls most of the search engine market in Europe, and as a result receives most ‘right to be forgotten’ requests, those things where individuals can request the de-listing of links to sensitive information about themselves that are deemed out-dated or irrelevant. But more than half of requests are denied, and of those that are appealed, most of those are too denied – which the European Union says is just fine.

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Web search engine Stories March 25, 2015

File photo shows people walking by a YouTube sign at the new Google office in Toronto

Half of a 2012 FTC report on Google’s business practices has been “inadvertently disclosed” in an open records request by the WSJ. Bizarrely, what was leaked was every other page of the report. MarketingLand’s Danny Sullivan has been busy reading the report and tweeting some of the things revealed by it.

The FTC eventually concluded that Google had not violated antitrust laws by favoring its own services over that of rivals, but found it was “a close call.”

[tweet https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/580634396618698752/]

Google did, for example, promote its own services in search results …  expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Web search engine Stories January 16, 2015

Performer search left, venue search right
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If you search for a band or live venue, there’s a high chance it’s because you want to buy tickets for an upcoming show. Google is now making that easier by displaying upcoming events in the search results, with a direct link to purchase tickets.

It may take a few days to start seeing these results, as Google has just explained to webmasters for bands and venues the steps they need to take to ensure the information shows up in searches. They can either add a little HTML to their webpages, or install a widget that does it for them …  expand full story

Web search engine Stories November 27, 2014

A European Parliament motion calling for the breakup of Google, separating out the search business from the company’s other activities, has been overwhelmingly approved, reports the WSJ.

In a vote in Strasbourg, 384 legislators voted in favor of the controversial initiative, with 174 against and 56 abstentions […]

“Clear adoption by the EP of Digital Single Market motion, including unbundling for search engine if needed,” tweeted Ramon Tremosa I Balcells, a lawmaker from Spain who backed the proposal.

The vote comes just a day after a separate European call for the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling to be extended to google.com as well as the European versions of its sites …  expand full story

Web search engine Stories November 24, 2014

If you want to check out what deals are available online before you hit the stores on Black Friday, Google has just made the task a little easier with revamped Google Shopping results.

Google Shopping results now include more detailed product information, customer reviews and show which stores have it in stock. Selected products also have 360-degree views …  expand full story

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