London: Google is likely to be forced to remove offending posts on its Blogger website after a UK judge ‘opened the door’ for the search giant being required to monitor what users write.
Google convinced London’s Court of Appeal in a libel case that Blogger.com is the equivalent of a blank wall and it cannot be held responsible for what is written there by people.
But the court ruled in the case involving law student Payam Tamiz that it was arguable Google was a ‘publisher’ in defamation law, and therefore responsible for offending comments once told of them, the Daily Mail reports.
Google could not be compared to an author or editor and the judge said he was also ‘very doubtful’ that it could be viewed as a ‘secondary publisher’, in a similar way to a libellous article ‘distributor’.
However, the judge went on to rule that Google and others do have a responsibility to remove offending material from their sites within a reasonable time of a complaint of libel being received.
According to the paper, he said that if Google failed to act swiftly enough, it might be inferred to have associated itself, or made itself responsible for, a libellous post.
It would at that point become responsible as a publisher and could be sued, he added.
First Published: Friday, February 15, 2013, 16:21