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(Sydney Morning Herald)   Australian surgeon sues over Google auto-complete attached to his name. This should end well   (smh.com.au) divider line 51
    More: Asinine, Australians, Fairfax Media, ACCC, false light, Google, Port Macquarie, bankruptcy  
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13803 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2013 at 8:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-22 08:34:47 AM
The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US district court in California, claims that when you type "Guy Hin ..." into Google the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claims this is defamatory as he is not bankrupt.

. . .

Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009.
Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled.


How do you "annul" a bankruptcy? Either you went bankrupt/filed for bankruptcy or you didn't.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-01-22 08:35:17 AM
Paging Barbara Streisand... Paging Barbara Streisand...
 
2013-01-22 08:35:28 AM
Beazley Singleton?

Bullshiat. That's a made up name.
 
2013-01-22 08:36:08 AM

NutWrench: The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US district court in California, claims that when you type "Guy Hin ..." into Google the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claims this is defamatory as he is not bankrupt.

. . .

Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009.
Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled.

How do you "annul" a bankruptcy? Either you went bankrupt/filed for bankruptcy or you didn't.


It's an Aussie thing. Kind of like how they annulled Hitler being born there.
 
2013-01-22 08:37:13 AM

Speaker2Animals: NutWrench: The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US district court in California, claims that when you type "Guy Hin ..." into Google the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claims this is defamatory as he is not bankrupt.

. . .

Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009.
Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled.

How do you "annul" a bankruptcy? Either you went bankrupt/filed for bankruptcy or you didn't.

It's an Aussie thing. Kind of like how they annulled Hitler being born there.


Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-01-22 08:37:20 AM
Better to ignore a bad Google auto complete and be thought a fool than sue Google and remove all doubt.
 
2013-01-22 08:38:11 AM
Lost business, eh?

i>The firm wrote Dr Hingston had "lost a number of patients and financiers [who] are refusing to deal with our client as a consequence of the reference on google which is associated with his name".

Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled.

Because investors just love dealing with people who were almost declared bankrupt instead of just bankrupt. I also wonder if investors who trust the auto-complete instead of the actual search results are investors you'd want. The first rumour of a hitch and they'll be gone anyway.
 
2013-01-22 08:47:43 AM

NutWrench:
How do you "annul" a bankruptcy? Either you went bankrupt/filed for bankruptcy or you didn't.


You come to an agreement that allows you to start servicing your debt I assume.

Companies often emerge from bankruptcy protection for instance.
 
2013-01-22 08:50:07 AM

LordPomposity:
Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.


You're new here, aren't you?
 
2013-01-22 08:51:06 AM
He lost "financiers" due to this? I don't think I'd want to be a business partner with a venture capitalist whose due diligence only went as far as Google's auto-complete and not even bother clicking on the links it returns.
 
2013-01-22 08:51:20 AM

bulldg4life: Beazley Singleton?Bullshiat. That's a made up name.


Like Biggus Dickus? I have a very good friend in Rome named Biggus Dickus.

/Do you know what his wife is called?
 
2013-01-22 08:53:15 AM

BokerBill: LordPomposity:
Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.

You're new here, aren't you?


Forget it, he's rolling.
 
2013-01-22 08:55:40 AM
FTA
Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009.

So Google was correct with the auto complete. In Australia can you sue because somebody brought up something from the past that you don't want known?
 
2013-01-22 08:56:53 AM
My parakeet is about to be rich!
 
2013-01-22 09:05:45 AM

slackananda: /Do you know what his wife is called?


Sharon?
 
2013-01-22 09:09:13 AM

slackananda: bulldg4life: Beazley Singleton?Bullshiat. That's a made up name.

Like Biggus Dickus? I have a very good friend in Rome named Biggus Dickus.

/Do you know what his wife is called?


Lucy?
 
2013-01-22 09:13:24 AM

jfivealive: /Do you know what his wife is called?

Lucy?


Close!
 
2013-01-22 09:19:24 AM
My name autocorrects to Tomahawk. I want to sue someone, but I think most courts would laugh if I tried claiming that's injurious.

// maybe if I was Native American...
 
SH
2013-01-22 09:36:53 AM

slackananda: Like Biggus Dickus? I have a very good friend in Rome named Biggus Dickus.

/Do you know what his wife is called?


Your mom?
 
2013-01-22 09:37:25 AM
I actually don't have a problem with this. If any of your names was followed by something offensive anytime a person searched for you on google, you'd be pissed and you know it. Just because it's algorithm based doesn't make it ok. Look at it objectively, not as an internet geek.
 
2013-01-22 09:44:52 AM

slackananda: bulldg4life: Beazley Singleton?Bullshiat. That's a made up name.

Like Biggus Dickus? I have a very good friend in Rome named Biggus Dickus.

/Do you know what his wife is called?


Incontentia. Incontentia Buttocks.
 
2013-01-22 09:49:51 AM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I actually don't have a problem with this. If any of your names was followed by something offensive anytime a person searched for you on google, you'd be pissed and you know it. Just because it's algorithm based doesn't make it ok. Look at it objectively, not as an internet geek.


Wouldn't this fall under rules for libel? Truth would be an absolute defense. Are there numerous pages noting the name and bankruptcy together? Could O.J. Simpson sue Google if 'trial' autopopulated after typing his name? It does. Hell, he even filed for bankruptcy!
 
2013-01-22 09:49:58 AM

LordPomposity: Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.


You can drive. Australia's right next to Germany. Now if he'd have been born in Austria there'd be problems.
 
2013-01-22 09:50:48 AM
I can type in all except the last letter and it still doesn't auto complete my name. Who can I sue?
 
2013-01-22 09:56:34 AM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I actually don't have a problem with this. If any of your names was followed by something offensive anytime a person searched for you on google, you'd be pissed and you know it. Just because it's algorithm based doesn't make it ok. Look at it objectively, not as an internet geek.


Algorithm makes it okay. It means that it isn't based on anything but what's natural. If Google were playing favorites and messing with it for your benefit, that would be wrong. If an establishment is first come, first serve don't complain because you have to stand behind an ugly person. Hire an SEO expert and improve your online reputation.
 
2013-01-22 10:30:48 AM
Don't call me Doctor, Guy
 
2013-01-22 10:35:18 AM
So how do I get my name attached to a "best sex ever" auto complete?
 
2013-01-22 10:39:47 AM
Thank Glob this guy lives in Australia, land of the free, home of the wombat. They'll fine Google good for this embarrassment.

Oh he filed in California? Oh...well...good luck with that buddy.
 
2013-01-22 10:54:08 AM

doglover: LordPomposity: Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.

You can drive. Australia's right next to Germany. Now if he'd have been born in Austria there'd be problems.


Oh, FFS.

Hitler wasn't born in Australia. He was born in Tasmania.

Study it out.
 
2013-01-22 10:58:44 AM

Thudfark: Don't call me Doctor, Guy


Don't call me guy, buddy.
 
Ant
2013-01-22 11:04:23 AM

LordPomposity: Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.


Duh! He took a boat. Why do you think he was so angry?
 
2013-01-22 11:20:29 AM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I actually don't have a problem with this. If any of your names was followed by something offensive anytime a person searched for you on google, you'd be pissed and you know it. Just because it's algorithm based doesn't make it ok. Look at it objectively, not as an internet geek.


In the United States, truth is an absolute defense against libel. Google is not passing value judgements, their algorithm is correctly identifying information people are likely to want to know. The fact they are able to take action on what Google is providing them is proof that Google is correctly assessing what they want to know. The fact that he doesn't LIKE his own past is not Google's problem, as they are correctly summarizing the information. Even better, due to the Streisand effect, he's absolutely assuring himself with this lawsuits that even MORE websites will correctly link his name with previous bankruptcy proceedings AND raising the ranking on related terms like "Dr Guy Hingston sucks" "Dr Guy Hingston litigious dickhead" "Dr Guy Hingston stupid to understand how search algorithms work" "Dr Guy Hingston went bankrupt" "Dr Guy Hingston is hiding something" "Dr Guy Hingston has a history of bankruptcy" "Dr Guy Hingston CoastJet Fraud Bankrupt".
 
2013-01-22 11:21:25 AM
Doctor Feel would like to join your class action suit.
 
2013-01-22 11:23:23 AM
Just for yucks, here's a search for "guy hingston is a wanker." If enough people click on it, maybe we can get that one in there, too.
 
2013-01-22 11:38:26 AM
Aren't autocomplete suggestions determined by what users are searching for? If so, how can he sue Google? It's not their fault that users are searching for things that result in suggestions that make him look bad.
 
2013-01-22 11:40:28 AM

Uzzah: Just for yucks, here's a search for "guy hingston is a wanker." If enough people click on it, maybe we can get that one in there, too.


Did my part.

/Thomas Edison still isn't listed under wiki's douchebag page, but I still search "wiki douchebag thomas edison" when I think about it to keep it alive
 
2013-01-22 11:54:15 AM
In the United States, truth is an absolute defense to Libel.
These lawsuits aren't happening in the United States.
 
2013-01-22 11:57:29 AM

d23: Better to ignore a bad Google auto complete and be thought a fool than sue Google and remove all doubt.


It doesn't sound like it was bad. His business went bankrupt. The reason is understandable but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
 
2013-01-22 12:19:27 PM
Mine comes up with 'contractor' and 'attorney'

I guess I won't sue google
 
2013-01-22 12:34:24 PM
Tom Brady is a ...
 
2013-01-22 12:39:30 PM

LordPomposity: Speaker2Animals: NutWrench: The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US district court in California, claims that when you type "Guy Hin ..." into Google the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claims this is defamatory as he is not bankrupt.

. . .

Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009.
Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled.

How do you "annul" a bankruptcy? Either you went bankrupt/filed for bankruptcy or you didn't.

It's an Aussie thing. Kind of like how they annulled Hitler being born there.

Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.


Because Helen Keller flew him there on her plane, duh. Then Hitler got mad about his iPhone and she had to hide in an attic.

/Google is your friend
 
2013-01-22 12:44:17 PM

Ant: LordPomposity: Hitler was born in Australia? Then how did he get to Germany? They didn't have planes back then.

Duh! He took a boat das Boot. Why do you think he was so angry?


FTFY
 
2013-01-22 01:23:03 PM

semiotix: Thudfark: Don't call me Doctor, Guy

Don't call me guy, buddy.


Don't tie me kangaroo down, sport
 
2013-01-22 01:40:37 PM
yep 7,000,000,000 people on earth and he is the only one with something like that
 
2013-01-22 02:16:19 PM

Securitywyrm: In the United States, truth is an absolute defense to Libel.
These lawsuits aren't happening in the United States.


Someone DRTFA

He is suing in California district court, and he wasn't the Guy who went bankrupt. Still, I hope he loses. Man up, Guy.
 
2013-01-22 02:51:58 PM
By this guy's logic, I should sue Tennessee because there's a guy with my name on their sex offender list.
 
2013-01-22 03:36:34 PM
He's a plastic surgeon in private practice in Australia. His clientele are - as a matter of course - flighty and stupid: Too flighty and stupid apparently to actually find out what the pages are that are brought up by the autocomplete. Dude has a point.
 
2013-01-22 03:48:57 PM

mrlewish: So how do I get my name attached to a "best sex ever" auto complete?


Quite simple, if somewhat time-consuming

As long as your name isn't so generic that there are already 10 (google-search) pages referring to other people with the same name, you just need to produce a few hundred webpages prominently mentioning the required testimonial.

Wordpress blogs are cheapest way of establishing reference pages. If it's too tiresome to produce all the ones you want, you can use sites such as FIVERR or TaskRabbit to get others to do it for you quite cheaply..
 
2013-01-22 03:59:27 PM

d23: Paging Barbara Streisand... Paging Barbara Streisand...


Exactly.

Now, as well as auto-complete indirectly suggesting he's been bankrupted (which is apparently true of a company he owned), anyone searching his name will find the first page of Google filled with news stories drawing attention to his bankruptcy.

And that is going to be there forever.

It's possible to submerge Google results for things like bankruptcies, because Google drops older stories down the rankings if you can replace them with fresher stories.

But if you make the front page of paper like Sydney Morning Herald, you will never be able to submerge that - the paper has so many links to it that Google will rate it higher than just about anything else you can produce.

As the Barbara Streisand example cited, the worst thing you can do is draw attention to something you want people to overlook.
 
2013-01-22 07:16:04 PM
fact is, he did file for bankruptcy. this is not libelous, it's accurate. just as in the us, you can have a filing dismissed instead of discharged, it does not negate that you filed originally. i don't see this going anywhere, because there's nothing remotely false about what shows on that autocomplete. it's public record, presumably (it is in the US, assuming the same in the alps as well)...
 
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