TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Companies Subvert Search Results to Squelch Criticism

Re: Companies Subvert Search Results to Squelch Criticism

jtaylor (
Thu, 16 Jun 2005 12:56:50 -0300

> If they don't like what Quixtar is doing, they should change their
> software.

> ob googlewhack: billabong microstepping

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But Google's claim would be they
> were fraudulently induced to create false results. It would be
> something akin to postal fraud (but not with the same legal
> ramifications): To commit 'postal fraud' one does not need to
> physically put a fraudulent item in the mail; inducing someone
> else to do so is likewise fraud _on your part_. So you induced
> Google, in this instance, to draw up and present false or
> fraudulent search results.

But how are these results "fraudulent" or "false"?

It is up to Google to define its results, and the software they use to
achieve them. If Google

a) had a contract with another party to develop search engine software;
b) that contract said that the results should not be influenced by Quixtar's
(or any similar) actions; and
c) the results were in fact so influenced

then Google might have a cause of action against that company - but if
they themselves develop the software, they cannot claim fraud if the
software does exactly what they design it to do. There is no party
(except themselves) that has injured them.

Businesses make badly designed products all the time; and when the
defects come to light it is there job to make them better, not to
complain that the completely legal actions of others are to blame.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yes, the software does what it was
designed to do, just like credit card processing does what it is
supposed to do. But if you were (in this instance at least) a bit
smarter than Google, or the credit card people and caused something
to happen by employing fraud, then the law, which is theoretically
always intended to protect the weak against the strong will side
with Google (or the credit card people). PAT]

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