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Germany's Former First Lady Sues Google for 'Prostitute' Algorithm: Whose Side Are You On?

AdriHead 2012/09/12 22:21:28
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Bettina Wulff, Germany's former first lady, is not a prostitute -- and she want you to know it. The wife of former German President Christian Wulff is suing Google over its autocomplete function while searching, which shows the words "prostitute" and "escort" after Wulff's name is typed out.

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The former German first lady says she's never been a prostitute but that rumors circulated about her allegedly racy past around 2006, most likely to harm her husband's political career. Wulff may not be a prostitute, but do you think the lawsuit is fair? Or is Google being sued for all the wrong reasons?

NYDAILYNEWS.COM reports:
Germany’s former first lady is not happy with her Google results. Bettina Wulff, 38, is suing the search giant over their autocomplete function, which she argues perpetuates rumors that she was once a prostitute.
38 suing search giant autocomplete function argues perpetuates rumors prostitute

Read More: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/bettina-wulf...

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Top Opinion

  • Mog of War 2012/09/12 22:29:44
    Team Google!
    Mog of War
    +12
    Google's autocomplete feature is base on popular searches. Deal with it. Google could probably filter this from their autocomplete, and likely will, so this lawsuit is pointless.

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  • zionosphere 2012/09/13 15:30:05
    Team Google!
    zionosphere
    +6
    I guess she's never heard of the Streisand Effect.

    'The Streisand effect is a colloquial term used to describe the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

    Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.'

    All she is done is to ensure that everyone who hears or reads her name for the rest of her life will associate it with prostitution. Queen of the Whores.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
  • darwolf 2012/09/13 15:27:55
    Team Google!
    darwolf
    +5
    Not their fault what people searches for.
  • alex 2012/09/13 15:24:44
    Team Google!
    alex
    +5
    It is simply displaying the most searched results. Not googles problem.
  • Emily Barrington 2012/09/13 15:07:27
    Team Google!
    Emily Barrington
    +4
    I'm not sure google can controll... What? BILLIONS AND BILLIONS or results?
  • S123 2012/09/13 15:05:53
    Team Google!
    S123
    +4
    I think the reason her name comes up is that a lot of people doing searches for her name with those words, and that isn't Google's fault. She should blame the people who started and spread the rumor.
  • Mitri 2012/09/13 14:57:10
    Team Google!
    Mitri
    +4
    I can't even articulate on how stupid this woman is.
  • Grammar... Mitri 2012/09/13 21:53:38
    Grammar Freak
    +1
    ...& childish & spoiled.
  • RogerCoppock 2012/09/13 14:33:53
    Team Bettina Wulff!
    RogerCoppock
    +2
    Other first ladies aren't treated this way by Google's autocomplete.
  • Sodahea... RogerCo... 2012/09/13 17:52:08
    Sodahead Founders are Fascists
    +4
    Is that so?
    michelle
  • johnnyg Sodahea... 2012/09/13 19:07:23
    johnnyg
    +2
    No prostitute??
  • RogerCo... Sodahea... 2012/09/14 02:06:43
    RogerCoppock
    I don't see the word "Prostitute."
  • Odinsown 2012/09/13 14:33:08
    Team Google!
    Odinsown
    +5
    Doesn't autofill work using other peoples searches based on popularity of the term?
  • Willski 2012/09/13 14:11:49
    Team Google!
    Willski
    +4
    Autocomplete's are popular searches, the list is automatically generated.
  • RogerCo... Willski 2012/09/13 14:37:30 (edited)
    RogerCoppock
    +2
    So then, some spin doctor could write browser scripts which could 'train' Google's autocomplete function to attach ANYTHING after anyone's name. That must be stopped.
  • Willski RogerCo... 2012/09/13 14:51:45
    Willski
    +3
    They have features to stop that. Same with how they stop "ad bombing", prevents people from boosting their own search statistics.
    You're idea has no merit.
  • RogerCo... Willski 2012/09/13 15:23:01
    RogerCoppock
    +2
    Those schemes depend on reading the IP address of the sender, this can be circumvented.
  • Willski RogerCo... 2012/09/13 16:20:41
    Willski
    +2
    they also factor in the rate at which they come in, and the servers they come from.
    Circumventing all these is too dificult for anyone to bother with for the minimal impact it has.
    People only pay attention to autocorrect when it brings up what they were going to search, or when they're looking for funny results.
  • Smuwf, Twin 2012/09/13 14:08:17
    Team Google!
    Smuwf, Twin
    +3
    She cannot win,googles autocomplete just records what everbody searches,Google cannot lose,more importantly all the people who googled the rumour cannot be sued either
  • LucyLucero 2012/09/13 13:34:01
    Team Google!
    LucyLucero
    +5
    This is just idiotic.
  • Keegan The Fabulous 2012/09/13 13:17:45
    Team Google!
    Keegan The Fabulous
    +5
    The search results are based on popular searches, Wulff. Google could take the function down, agreed, but they aren't because that's what people are searching. If you believe it's Google's fault the words "escort" and "prostitute" appear next to your name in the search suggestions, you obviously have no fūcīng clue how the internet works, or how reputations work.
  • Charles E 2012/09/13 12:44:22
    Team Bettina Wulff!
    Charles E
    +2
    Google has some of the best programmers around. They could eliminate this slander in 10 minutes if they wanted to.

    Unless there is proof, under European laws Google will, and should, lose.
  • Smuwf, ... Charles E 2012/09/13 14:05:13 (edited)
    Smuwf, Twin
    +2
    Not necessarily,the autocomplete just records what people search Google has no part or liability to be sued therein
  • Charles E Smuwf, ... 2012/09/14 00:28:04
    Charles E
    I agree that is how it should be. Europe has some laws that US would consider strange, and may allow her to win. Or so I have heard.
  • Smuwf, ... Charles E 2012/10/03 19:26:55
    Smuwf, Twin
    +1
    In Paris its illegal for U.F.O's to park...its a real law regrettably
  • westernslope~PWCM~JLA 2012/09/13 11:22:35
    Team Google!
    westernslope~PWCM~JLA
    +2
    deal with it
  • Sodahead Founders are Fascists 2012/09/13 09:27:16 (edited)
    Team Google!
    Sodahead Founders are Fascists
    +4
    When your husband is a corrupt arsehole who had to resign from his office as President to avoid criminal prosecution, you should expect some colour to rub off on you, unfair as it may be.
    And don't call her "first lady". They don't do that in Germany.
  • Jon Bergen Sodahea... 2012/09/13 16:23:46
    Jon Bergen
    +1
    Thank you for pointing all that out ~ many here are unaware.
  • Joey 2012/09/13 09:23:38
    Team Google!
    Joey
    +2
    This is what people are looking up the most. There are a lot of questionable things that come but up.
  • Chris La 2012/09/13 07:19:30
    Team Bettina Wulff!
    Chris La
    +3
    Yes, I support her and other people who defend their reputations online. Antagonistic liberal extremists love to issue derogatory and misleading 'information' on internet forums that they control. The pretended correction process which they also control is so cumbersome that litigation is the only way in which to protect yourself and your organization. There are some people who believe nearly everything they find on a web site. Go get them Mrs Wulff.
  • gjgfjgfjfg Chris La 2012/09/13 07:51:48
  • Scandalf Chris La 2012/09/13 10:26:26
  • Profess... Chris La 2012/09/13 13:44:33
    Professor Wizard
    +5
    Eliminating the word prostitute from the auto complete, will not affect people searching for it.

    It is based on what people have already searched for... meaning enough people searched for the word prostitute with her name that it got added... that is not Googles Fault.

    I think her law suit is a way for her to get attention.
  • Bob DiN 2012/09/13 07:11:15
    Team Bettina Wulff!
    Bob DiN
    +2
    Rumors can be harmful.
  • DebraJMSmith 2012/09/13 06:45:52
    Team Google!
    DebraJMSmith
    +3
    It just seems a bit odd to sue google over the drop down search.
  • Barbara 2012/09/13 05:30:36
    Team Google!
    Barbara
    +4
    Get a life Bettina...its quite funny though she's having a look on google how popular she is and its shows prostitute..LMAO! Love Google!!
  • Chris La Barbara 2012/09/13 07:22:31
    Chris La
    +2
    Would you be laughing if a college admissions board or an employer googled your name--Barbara or that of one of your friends, and this happened to you; and then you lost a chance at college or a job?
  • Smuwf, ... Chris La 2012/09/13 14:10:31
    Smuwf, Twin
    +2
    Those are ridiculous grounds to put down an application,besides they care about whats on your resume not whats on googles searchbar
  • Chris La Smuwf, ... 2012/10/03 00:01:08
    Chris La
    Competition for admission and for jobs is fierce. Its not fair but that is life and reality. An internet slander like this, or a web photo of you taking shots at Mardi Gras can kill you with a recruiter. Its true, I'm sorry.
  • Smuwf, ... Chris La 2012/10/03 15:56:18
    Smuwf, Twin
    So is wandering down the street on saint patricks day smeared with green facepaint,a sagging foot tall comedic saint paddys hat on my head soaked with rain singing "i remember mountain daisy,and by gosh she wasnt lazy,cos I remember daisy mount'n me..." is literally crushing for a resume
  • johnnyg Chris La 2012/09/13 19:14:34 (edited)
    johnnyg
    +1
    Search "Barbara prostitute" 100 times??

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