Termed an “exceptional case” by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) spokesman Antony White, the court case by an international businessman, Daniel Hegglin, against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has finally reached its conclusion this Monday morning.
No particular details of the case have been disclosed either by the judge or the opposing parties, apart from the fact that the agreement reached is “mutually acceptable”.
Though people all over the world come under trolling attacks on the internet every day, Hegglin’s case was different, as he has been attacked thousands of times on over 4,000 internet websites. The content of the allegations varied drastically, but most of all, Mr. Hegglin was being repeatedly called a pedophile, murderer, as well as a sympathizer of the Ku Klux Klan.
Hegglin came to London to begin his career, and has worked at the investment bank called Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) for over 24 years. He then was forced to move to Hong Kong, due to cases of “extreme internet trolling”, intentional posting of provocative/abusive material on the internet to embarrass or defame a particular person/group.
However, when the cases of internet trolling against him continued still, Hegglin reported them to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), in order to block access to the content appearing about him on internet websites to curb its spread. But Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) responded in a manner which did not recognize the specialty of the case, and Mr. Hegglin became forced to take Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to the high court. According to Anthony White, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) spokesman, “Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) provides search services to millions of people and cannot be responsible for policing internet content.”
The case holds great importance, because such a scenario is unprecedented in Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s history. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is the most powerful search engine in the world, hence is an information bank which spreads information rapidly all over the internet. The question which has held this court case for so long identifies Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s limited role in this, as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) claims to only provide a platform to internet websites to display whatever is relevant to users.
However, Mr. Hegglin argues that it is because of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s efficient system of search engine that false information about him is travelling so rapidly, and it is this catalyst he wants to remove. The court case filed by Mr. Hegglin was aimed at this end as well, in that it forced the search engine giant to provide the former with a satisfactory cover to disable any websites, containing false information about him, from appearing in search results.
The case has been misunderstood many times as a ‘right to be forgotten’ scenario, under which Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) allows users to have search results about them wiped off the face of the search engine that is old and/or unpleasant, which people don’t want to be seen on the internet any longer. The ‘right to be forgotten’ option was presented to users in May by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), after a court ruling deemed it necessary option on the search engine for all users to enjoy.