Google gagged: Injunction won over antisemitic websites

By Jennifer Lipman, May 18, 2011
Jew Watch remains third on Google's search results for the word Jew

Jew Watch remains third on Google's search results for the word Jew

The umbrella group for Argentinean Jewry, the DAIA, has won an injunction against internet giant Google demanding that it stop recommending antisemitic websites to browsers.

Google operates a "suggested search" function, drawing users' attention to popular or relevant sites.

But its suggestions included sites which were illegal under Argentinean law because they incited violence, involved Holocaust denial or espoused racist views.

According to the legal challenged by the DAIA, there were 76 sites in total which "openly promoted discrimination".

This week a Buenos Aires judge ruled in favour of the DAIA and called on Google to remove the suggestions, as well as halt all Google advertising on such websites.

In a statement, the DAIA said it would continue to denounce any form of discrimination, in particular antisemitism.

Research this week revealed that Google accounts for 90 per cent of Latin American web searches. The company's official motto is "Don't Be Evil", but it has faced criticism for accepting censorship in China and allowing a racist caricature of Michelle Obama to remain online.

In 2004 there was outcry when Google failed to tackle the high placement of antisemitic website "Jew Watch" when users searched for the word Jew.

At the time the company said: "We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google."

But they added: "We do not remove a page from our search results simply because its content is unpopular or because we receive complaints concerning it".

Jew Watch is currently the third result in a search for Jew.

Last updated: 3:11pm, September 6 2011