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Google Erases Thousands of Links, Tricked by Phony Complaints (wsj.com)
319 points by known 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 117 comments



This is the expected result of increased scrutiny over Google. Whether or not to respond to claims of abuse is a tradeoff between limiting false negatives or limiting false positives. When there is an increase in the cost of false negative, both monetary and in terms of status and reputation, then Google is going to optimize to reduce false negatives at the expense of creating more false positives.

This should definitely be part of the conversation when discussing regulating content on Google and other large aggregators and social media platforms. I find that the so-called "techlash" has resulted in more stringent policing of content, but also greater opportunity to abuse reporting functionality. Using copyright claims malicious has been a known practice for years now, at least between content creators (e.g. feuding YouTubers having their fans report rivals). I'm not surprised to see governments using the same tactics.


Google pretty often refuses to respond to counter-dmcas, there is a lawsuit currently over this. In addition recently lumen database stopped publishing the full list of links in the dmca complaints.


> Google pretty often refuses to respond to counter-dmcas,

There is not requirement to respond to DMCA notices or counternotices, doing so merely protects against certain liability you might otherwise have. In the case of counternotices, there generally is no liability to protect against (because providers can usually structure agreements with users to avoid liability for takedowns), and thus no reason to respond.


Hmm, hypothetically if you blanket refuse to respond to coutnernotices, could you lose your protection from liability under DMCA in general? Like even in cases where no notice has been followed? Don't you have to follow the procedures, including responding to counter notices, to be get the protection from liability under DMCA in the first place?

Even if in theory, in practice we know the risk is vanishingly low of actually being held liable for much.


> Hmm, hypothetically if you blanket refuse to respond to coutnernotices, could you lose your protection from liability under DMCA in general?

No, DMCA safe harbor is transactional: if you respond to a particular takedown, you are protected from liability to the issuer of the takedown for the content. If you respond to a particular counternotice, you are protected from liability to that user for taking down the content addressed by the counternotice.


> no reason to respond.

Sure maybe from a purely cynical profit-motivated standpoint. Even then there's the risk of pissing off your users.


the depressing reality is that most users who are pissed off still don't take their business elsewhere. There are few other choices for similar products that work as well.


Google lost me as a customer. That’s frankly meaningless on it’s own, but add up everyone making the same choice and it can quickly become meaningful.


there is of course the good old Yahoo!


I was also going to share this. Google and other places like Twitter and Facebook seem to be willing to pull the trigger instantly on a DMCA and unwilling to put it back up with the C-DMCA even though the same law protects them if they do.


I'd like to think this is because Google, Twitter, etc. know these media companies have a lot of lobbying connections that could get the DMCA landscape changed to drastically hurt them.


I would rather argue that this is because the media companies are their partners.


I would lean this way as well. People who are filing counter notices are probably not big buyers of advertising on the platform.


I think the Lumen full link thing is (at least in part) due to the fact that people were going to the lumen db to find the de-listed links to pirated movies (since the DMCA complaint submitter has already verified that those websites do, in fact, contain the copyrighted movie).


> since the DMCA complaint submitter has already verified that those websites do, in fact, contain the copyrighted movie

Well no, actually, that they haven't is exactly the problem. One of the major problems with the DMCA is that it says this:

> under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

In other words, the claim made "under penalty of perjury" is that you are "authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed" and not that the links you allege are infringing actually are infringing.

Meanwhile claims have been known to be filed based on generic searches, e.g. submitting a DMCA claim for every link that shows up in search results for the title of the movie even when it's a generic phrase also used in other contexts, or wasn't quoted so it turned up results where those words (or their synonyms!) appear in any order anywhere on the page. And looking at the DMCA complaint used to allow you to not only find those results that had been illegitimately removed, but also identify that that has happened and then have the ability to object to it in various ways.


As far as I'm aware no court has ever agreed with your interpretation of the wording of the DMCA. Do you have a source on it being correct (which I definitely could have missed) or are you just giving out questionable legal opinions as if they are fact?

The best I can find for someone trying to raise that interpretation in court is when warner bros tried to argue it here [1]. That the motion was denied without prejudice in a brief order here [2], to be re-raised at trial if necessary, and then it looks like the case was settled before it went to trial or the issue was raised again.

[1] https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/835805-184407656-war...

[2] https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.flsd.373206...


> As far as I'm aware no court has ever agreed with your interpretation of the wording of the DMCA

As far as I know, no court has every disagreed with that reading, which is simply the plain meaning of each of the words in the statute.

From the day the text was proposed, the fact that the only thing thar a DMCA takedown required to be sworn under penalty of perjury was that the complaining party represented a rights holder has been a frequent point of criticism.

> The best I can find for someone trying to raise that interpretation in court is when warner bros tried to argue it here

No, WB was not arguing that point, they were arguing that a hosts DMCA takedown notice form which purported to require additional certifications to be made under penalty of perjury was invalid because private parties can't just add “under penalty of perjury” without the legal requirements of perjury being satisfied and expect it to have legal effect. The host in that case agreed that what it tried to make under penalty of perjury was beyond what was required in the statute, but argued that the form did, in fact, have effect. IOW, the base requirements of the law weren't in dispute, the effect of a private form as to what was under penalty of perjury was I dispute.


>From the day the text was proposed, the fact that the only thing thar a DMCA takedown required to be sworn under penalty of perjury was that the complaining party represented a rights holder has been a frequent point of criticism.

This is wrong. Perjury also applies to having a good faith belief in the infringement.

>The DMCA requires a complainant to declare, under penalty of perjury, that he is authorized to represent the copyright holder, and that he has a good-faith belief that the use is infringing. This requirement is not superfluous. Accusations of alleged infringement have drastic consequences: A user could have content removed, or may have his access terminated entirely. If the content infringes, justice has been done. But if it does not, speech protected under the First Amendment could be removed. We therefore do not require a service provider to start potentially invasive proceedings if the complainant is unwilling to state under penalty of perjury that he is an authorized representative of the copyright owner, and that he has a good-faith belief that the material is unlicensed.

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Ccbill Llc, 488 F. 3d 1102 - Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2007

>A copyright owner who submits a takedown notice must include a statement, under penalty of perjury, that she has "a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner." Id. § 512(c)(3)(A)(v)-(vi).

Hughes v. Benjamin, Dist. Court, SD New York 2020


> The DMCA requires a complainant to declare, under penalty of perjury, that he is authorized to represent the copyright holder, and that he has a good-faith belief that the use is infringing.

You're citing ambiguous language in a case that wasn't actually about perjury to begin with.

Possible valid reading of that sentence: "The DMCA requires a complainant to declare that he has a good-faith belief that the use is infringing, and under penalty of perjury, that he is authorized to represent the copyright holder."

> Hughes v. Benjamin, Dist. Court, SD New York 2020

This is a district court case which means it isn't binding precedent for other courts, and likewise doesn't appear to be a perjury case.

It would be nice if people got charged with perjury for making false DMCA claims. I still haven't seen any evidence of that happening.


I responded to a comment saying no court has ever disagreed with a reading saying perjury only applies to the authorization part, with two examples showing otherwise. As far as I know, every court to have considered the issue has said that perjury applies to both parts. None of them were actually considering a perjury case, correct. Perjury prosecutions are extremely rare.

Re your claim of ambiguity, read through the rest of the decision. It explains the rationale of the perjury requirement.

>We therefore do not require a service provider to start potentially invasive proceedings if the complainant is unwilling to state under penalty of perjury that he is an authorized representative of the copyright owner, and that he has a good-faith belief that the material is unlicensed.

Much harder to read this as you propose.

Both cases are obiter dictum, since it's not relevant to the ruling. But they provide a strong indication of what a court ruling on the perjury issue directly would say, and they would certainly be persuasive authority.


> Much harder to read this as you propose.

It has the exact same ambiguity. They even put the same comma between "under penalty of perjury that he is an authorized representative of the copyright owner" and "that he has a good-faith belief that the material is unlicensed."

> Both cases are obiter dictum, since it's not relevant to the ruling. But they provide a strong indication of what a court ruling on the perjury issue directly would say, and they would certainly be persuasive authority.

This was kind of my point. Having to bring in some dicta from unrelated cases because there are no actual perjury cases to cite pretty well implies that there are no teeth in the perjury requirement one way or another.

It's not as if there have been a lack of fraudulent DMCA claims to prosecute either.


Those are literally the words in the statute. I'd be more interested if you could find a case upheld on appeal of someone being actually found guilty of perjury for filing a DMCA claim against non-infringing content. Because if it is never actually enforced then it's a distinction without a difference anyway. In either case fraudulent DMCA notices are rampant and the perpetrators face no consequences.


Courts have interpreted the statute to mean that perjury applies to a good faith belief in infringement as well. See two cases cited at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23198236


If this was meaningful we would have seen perjury prosecutions. We haven't, so its not.


There's no private cause of action for perjury. I agree that it would be nice if some ambitious DA would go after some of the people abusing DMCA or other infringement claims. Or perhaps someone in a state that allows private prosecution?


As far as I'm aware (and again, my knowledge of this field is far from perfect), the justice department has never charged anyone with perjury over a DMCA claim... period.

There have been civil lawsuits, for example Lenz v. Universal Music is famous for establishing that failure to consider fair use when filing a DMCA complaint constitutes misrepresentation under the DMCA. But these don't directly relate to perjury.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenz_v._Universal_Music_Corp.


> There have been civil lawsuits, for example Lenz v. Universal Music is famous for establishing that failure to consider fair use when filing a DMCA complaint constitutes misrepresentation under the DMCA.

That's misrepresentation rather than perjury. It's a different section. That changes it from criminal penalties to actual damages, but then what are the actual damages to Joe's Blog from having a link delisted from Google for a few days? A hundred bucks to make a federal case out of it? That'll be more trouble than it's worth to most everyone and then nobody does it and there are still no consequences. Meanwhile if you did have major actual damages, then what? You have a valid claim against a judgment-proof DMCA spammer who just files for bankruptcy?

Whereas perjury charges that had the spammer spending a few nights in jail and were regularly enforced by well-resourced government prosecutors might actually make a dent in the prevalence of this sort of thing. But that hasn't been the case in practice, one way or another.


> people were going to the lumen db to find the de-listed links to pirated movies

Which is a great thing. DMCA should not even be possible against links imo (heck, DMCA should not exist at all).


What lawsuit are you referring to?

There's no requirement to respond to counter-dmcas.


> What lawsuit are you referring to?

This one: https://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=forum&s=view&id=4230#1 (warning: this is a porn site)


>This is not how the counter DMCA notification system is supposed to work. Upon receipt of a counter DMCA notice, you are required to forward the notice to the original sender, and restore content within 10 days.

This is wrong. The DMCA does not create an affirmative requirement to process counter notices. See https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/03/youtuber-loses... for a recent decision affirming that.

Also, I can't find an actual lawsuit filed, just someone talking about how they intend to file a lawsuit.


That sounds very much like what has been claimed about Amazon handling the French court order to fine them a high dollar amount for each non-essential (as determined by the court) item they deliver. If the cost of something slipping through the cracks is that high, then it is cheaper to not do business where there are potential cracks to slip through.


I'm so glad I don't live in France. What a ridiculous place. People need "non-essential" Amazon deliveries and drivers need jobs now more than ever.


Fun fact: The court order doesn't use the word essential even once, it was introduced by Amazon lawyers and PR. The court order was solely about repeated safety violations and Amazons refusal to reduce operations to a safe level. The court order also gave an explicit whitelist of Amazons own categories for the reduction, not a generic "essential" or "food" classification that Amazon would have to interpret itself.

> People need "non-essential" Amazon deliveries and drivers need jobs now more than ever.

Which is why Amazon quite clearly made the right choice by shutting down the warehouses completely, right?


> Amazon handling the French court order to fine them a high dollar amount for each non-essential (as determined by the court) item they deliver

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Amazon has shown that they cannot be trusted to determine whether workers or items delivered are essential, and do not take the safety of their workers into account. The cost of behaving in an untrustworthy manner is having everybody else treat Amazon as untrustworthy.


Seems to me the onus should fall on the false reporters:

- If the claim is valid, the provider who hosted the content eats the costs as a cost of doing business - If the claim is invalid due to negligence, intent, or abuse of the system, the claimant should face a fine equal to or greater than the true cost of determining that the claim is false.

The courts essentially work this way, the internet should too.


Can the claimants not be penalised for false claims?


Google sued someone last year for false claims, settled for 25k. https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16074437/youtube-llc-v-...

I'm involved in a lawsuit against a large company that made false claims of infringement against my business - see https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16562550/thimes-solutio...

I've been tracking similar cases, and have a database of over a hundred cases of lawsuits over false infringement claims. False copyright claims are often harder to prosecute than trademark or patent cases.


In practice it's difficult if not impossible to do anything about it, between providers being unwilling/unable to identify the claimants and the costs involved in taking them to court.


Especially hard to get the courts involved if the claimants are in other countries.

About the best you could hope for is if a person can be shown to be acting in bad faith they could have all of their takedowns reversed and the material in question flagged so that further takedown notices trigger an audit. In practice this might just mean making a new account for each takedown notice, but it does raise the bar a bit on bad behavior.

I'd also assume big media cartels would be exempt because operating in bad faith is their entire business plan and they're willing to sue to maintain the status quo.


A lot of automated copyright claims are made by reasonably sized organisations. Should require a deposit for making automated claims.

Do not have to take them to court, the burden of proof lies with the copyright holder. And sufficient mechanism for counter claims and forfeiting the deposit.

Also can take collective action against all falsely claimed copyright.

The real trouble is something flagged as offensive, once a comment of mine on Quora was taken down. I was given a warning of that being offensive and me being potentially banned. I have no idea to this day what was taken down and why people found it offensive.

The right to contest sadly does not exist, this makes it so easy political or religious groups to silence individuals.


Seems like if Google is doing extrajudicial enforcement, they could easily stipulate in their terms of use that false claims can result in a lifetime ban from Google services. People might think twice about making false claims if they (or their entire organization) will lose all access to their Google accounts forever.


If Google added that to their terms I would hop in the false copyright claim game ASAP. I want nothing to do with Google and I would be very interested in Google deciding they want nothing to do with me, too.


I don't get it, yes false positive removals are an issue worth discussing, but does it really warrant a whole WSJ front page article? Could WSJ make it any more obvious that they have a vendetta against tech companies and are just grasping at whatever hit piece they can get their hands on?


Tech companies need to be held accountable for their actions by someone. That's always been journalism's job. As long as they don't print lies, I don't see the issue.


Unfortunately I've seen WSJ (and several other tech media) print outright fabrications and omit whole pieces of stories to drive some agendas. It's hard to keep trusting them now.


As long as they don't print lies and don't play favorites, ideally.


False positives in law enforcement means innocent people are being punished. This isn't something that should ever happen.


False positives should never happen and they are inevitable at the same time.


It's only a tradeoff if you assume that the process must be automated and operate with a minimum of actual human scrutiny or consideration.

Any qualified human review would immediately be able to distinguish and vastly improve both the false negative and false positive rates.

But because these tech companies devalue that kind of work they aren't willing to invest in it.


A couple of things to consider:

1. There's a real social cost associated with constantly subjecting human reviewers to traumatizing content. It can lead to devastating mental health problems. (some relevant articles: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18229714/cognizant-facebo..., https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/12/16/youtube-mo...)

2. Humans make mistakes as well, especially as volume of content increases and policies get more nuanced.

3. There's way more violating content then you could ever imagine. As just one example, YouTube reported having to remove >1.8 BILLION comments for spam or other policy violations in 2019 (https://transparencyreport.google.com/youtube-policy).

4. The large tech companies spend billions on human moderation as it is. YouTube alone for example has >10,000 full time human reviewers. (https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/12/expanding-our-work-ag...)


Regarding 1: I find it unlikely that most DMCA takedown notices contains traumatizing content. (Arguably) most of it has a copyright on it, which means that someone probably wanted to sell it to a sizeable market. The DMCA takedown notices identify URLs, so you don't really need to use the same pool of people that screen for child abuse and various horrors, and they don't get an unfiltered view of every sort of terms of service violation from every platform, just potential copyright violations, a completely separable issue.


So why not raise the cost of submitting arbitrary user content?


Because I, the user, don't want that. I don't have a problem subjecting myself to Content ID in exchange for the ability to just host all sorts of crap.


Umm, you do realize that this is basically a DDOS attack, and automated tools are a necessity. What needs to happen is a law/legal process where you can counter sue against false DMCA/copyright complaints, with large penalties for indiscriminate and abusive filings. That would put the onus on copyright holders to put in some validation effort before filing.


> When there is an increase in the cost of false negative, both monetary and in terms of status and reputation, then Google is going to optimize to reduce false negatives at the expense of creating more false positives.

The problem is that Google optimizes for cost and doesn't give an iota of damn about accuracy.

Fine their ass when they are legally wrong and suddenly Google will become really good at figuring things out. And, if there is enough cost, they'll even allocate some people to the problem.


I get emails all the time from Google about DMCA notices and pages from my site being removed from search. They'll just give me a list of 100s of pages that have been removed. The requests make absolutely no sense. For example, it'll be a URL for a comment permalink, which redirects to a comment that says, "Great!". The vast majority of the requests are because someone mentions the name of a TV show or movie. Some company that represents them just issues a DMCA removal for any page that uses their name, claiming it infringes on their copyright. So, I've had thousands of pages removed from Google during the past year. I don't have time to make counterclaims for each of them. Most of them are old pages that receive little to no traffic. Still, it's a shame for anyone trying to search for them.


> Still, it's a shame for anyone trying to search for them.

They just have to not use Google. Fortunately, there are other search engines around - such as DuckDuckGo.


This is the result of every "Remove Bad Internet Stuff" law.


[flagged]


They’re internet points man. Relax.


But I can trade them in for self-esteem


It's extremely important for the whole world to start to understand - as shown by stories like this - that Google does not hold "the world's information" anymore. Other search engines are increasingly needed. (Do I need to go back to Dogpile?)

Yesterday I even noticed Google censoring an enquiry of mine which I happen to know is a scientifically honest, but politically incorrect thing to apparently ask in Google's particular culture. (It's quite a tame line of enquiry, and not racist at all. In fact, it's information which can save lives, and yet Google was blocking my access to that information.)

I had to use Yandex to even find what I was looking for.

Only Google, no more.

I cannot believe this - but I just tried my query in Dogpile, and it was superior to both Google and Yandex.


It's weirdly déjà vu to see this sort of sentiment to appear in every thread about google and it's absolutely true — google's search quality has been on a noticeable decline for years now.

It's especially funny to see headlines like "google achieves quantum superiority" and "google can't understand the word 'without'" next to each other. It almost seems like the search engine is being purposefully sabotaged by google itself.


What the average user of Google wants is not what the average user of HN wants, and it shows. The average Google user wants a semi-conversational query engine. What the average HN user wants is probably more like a fuzzy regex matcher. Google has gotten much better over the years for most of their userbase.

If you put in "did the cubs win" you get a custom panel that tells you the results of their latest few non-postponed games as sub-panels, with team logos and everything. If you click though a sub-panel, it gives you some more info and links to news articles. This is obviously a vastly improved experience over previous years for what is clearly the intent behind this search.

Another example that's a favorite of mine. If you search for "gay indiana mayor" the first result is the Wikipedia page for Pete Buttigieg. The next few results are recent high-impact news articles about Pete Buttigieg. Why? Because that's clearly what our hypothetical searcher was looking for. They didn't want webpages that contain the words "gay", "indiana" and "mayor". They wanted Pete Buttigieg, and his name is hard to remember how to spell.


I totally have to agree on this.

Who would like to go back to the days where Google results were just a link list? No average user wants that.

Plus not only that even if I Google a question regarding programming errors they usually nails it with a stack overflow answer or any good blog post within the first page.


> No average user wants that.

That's a bit ignorant. There are many search terms that are literally impossible to search for in google because it iterprets it as something else.


You are confusing two very different concepts here: search engine/indexing and assistant.

The behavour you're describing is an assistant's behaviour. When I'm using a search engine I'm _searching_ for content rather than asking for assistance.

Google seems to "solve" this difference with optional syntax like quotes but there's no fuzzy searching so you're stuck with either an assistant or explicit matching.


I don't think I am confusing anything. Google has deliberately oriented Google Search to better serve queries over lookups in recent years. For example, adding BERT. You don't need a semantic NLP engine to look up keywords.


What was the query?



I think much of this foreshadows how the infrastructure of networks will evolve over the next decade to cope with difficulties of this nature.

There was a project I worked on several years that required becoming familiar with SEO in the earlier days and tactics like this have exploded and become more automated since 2010.

On a global network, enforcement hurdles (real or perceived) are turning the information superhighway into a digital concentration camp.

I personally can enjoy an I.S.H. without having to access a global network and forecast segmentation of networks branching off and web properties poping up on the new canvas to cater to domestic or local norms, rather than accessing a network where lowest common denominator dictatorship engagement/enforcement cancels out any benefit of ease of data retrieval.

We can easily siphon anything from a global network, so IMO, you may still access a network to assist with day-to-day tasks, but Internet 1.0`s days are numbered as being part of many folks daily routine/lifestyle.


There is a deeper question here of: "Should information about people be trivially easy to find via Google (or any search engine)?"

It's one thing to have the world's information available to learn and improve. It's another to have any mention of your name going back decades easily retrievable, whether that information may be true, false, slanderous, complimentary, or what-have-you.

And what causes the threshold to be crossed? A friend who names you as part of a pub-crawl/bachelor party in Las Vegas in a public social media post is different from someone who is charged in court and found guilty of a crime. But what about someone who is accused of a crime, but then acquitted later? Or someone who is named in a civil suit that is later dropped?

I don't think we can have a blanket policy of these things but it certainly makes sense for some measure of a "right-to-be-forgotten" mechanism to be in place.


Zero financial incentive to stop phony complaints , lots of incentive to ensure you comply with government regulations.


OK, maybe Google is easily fooled, or maybe it cuts rights holders lots of slack, or whatever.

But why would anyone need to search for pirated stuff using Google? For media I just use TPB, and libgen for books. And I presume that streaming services do their own searching.


Reads like a how-to guide for anyone wanting to start their own "web reputation management" company.

I'm guessing interest in this will die down, and Google won't change their automated system.


Seems like google could use some of that ml magic to determine if a blog post was published four months before the events it describes and maybe flag that for further review.


There was a really interesting article posted a year-ish ago about a company/person (I barely remember the details). Someone went and created a random WordPress site, posted the article, and back-dated the post to make it look like the article was stolen from them.

Last I heard, litigation was still on-going. I should probably have beers with that person :soon:...


How come Google can't detect who was there first? Last I checked they had a massive index, timestamped even, of webpages. Dumbfounding.


They could if they wanted to. They don't want to. There's no incentive for them to do it right - overreacting protects them from large lawsuits from people who can afford lawyers, and they don't care about anything else. If some innocent blogger gets their blog removed from the index - who cares, certainly not Google.


Google don't negotiate.

I had an Blogger(run by Google) article removed by Google in 2019.

https://cpplover.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post_9853.html

This article quoted an interesting local Japanese news in 2012. It reported an arrest of a suspect(with real name), the suspected crime was copyright infringement for he quoted the local city's official web sites. This is strange as the Japanese copyright clearly stated that the publication from the government body cannot be copyrighted. It seems to me, that the suspect has some kind of mental issues or strong personal dislike toward the local city he is living. His web site blame every move by the local city, like he don't like the recent announcement from the city as it can be interpreted to mean malicious intent or blame the news of the minor crime by the local city's civil servants. So I suspect that local city claimed the bogus copyright violation and let local police arrest him to silence him.

What unusual about this removal is, that the reason they stated was defamation, not the usual copyright violation claim that US infamously force Web service provider to censor the information without the court order. As this is not the usual DMCA takedown notice, they don't give a person who claimed the defamation, so I cannot easily sue back the person who claimed that.

The definition of the defamation varies between jurisdictions, In some jurisdictions, the mere fact does not constitute as the defamation, In my jurisdiction, Japan, simply stating the fact can be a defamation. But not all statements be a defamation off course. The right to be forgotten does not exist in Japan. So simply quoting the news source with real name of suspect widely reported is not a defamation.

As I consulted with my lawyer, they advised me it doesn't worth it to take action. This is the first case they've heard. As I stated in the beginning, Google don't negotiate. It's so hard to negotiate with the real living human from the Google as all the response from the Google is BOT. But at least, the Google comply with the law and the court order. If it's DMCA takedown notice, it should be trivial to reveal the claimer, as the law requires to reveal the claimer.

There was interesting techniques to let google censor the information wide spreading in the wild. That you sue without explicitly specify the defendant in a minor country, win because there is no defendant to argue, using that court order to let Google censor the information as Google at least comply with the court order.

In my jurisdiction, Japan, there is a procedure to sue without specifying the defendant, but it's rarely used. The court usually won't allow such procedure. And in my case, I revealed my real name and address in my blog so it's unlikely Japanese court allow such lawsuit to happen. I don't know about the foreign countries but I cannot practically know the lawsuit of all the countries in the world.

With the unusual defamation claim, and google don't reveal the information, because of the rule "Google don't negotiate". If I were to sue the claimer, First I have to sue the Google to reveal the information of claimers. It costs so much money and time. This is my personal blog with no ad revenue. It doesn't worth it.

Still, it's interesting who is the claimer. The local city and police won't do this. No matter how corrupt they are, they can't do this. That leave the suspect, but the article was written in favour to the suspect and if he has the sane literacy and mental state, he won't interpret it as the defamation toward him. But his web site was full of strange interpretation and hateful interpretation on the local city's publication, I'm not so sure about this. Still, it's strange he successfully let the Google remove the article of him with unusual defamation claim.

There is another possibility that the third person, a complete stranger claimed it just to screw me. But it's a tiny achievement considering the fact that I have hundreds of article in Blogger, mirroring it to GitHub Pages, and I can simply repost the same article to anywhere if I want to(with the consequence on me if this really, legally constitute the defamation).

The moral is, Google don't negotiate.


FWIW, the last Google's transparency report said 4.6B URLs removed. I wonder how many were like like this. I suppose we would never know, since no human can audit 4.6B URLs.


Not sure I believe Google is that gullible.


wsj clickbait. tell us news.


It is funny how no one ever speaks of Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google - I never hear anything from him. About the only time I've seen Sundar say anything is a few mins of pre-rehearsed teleprompted speech at Google I/O, mostly about AI buzzwords.

Sundar - if you're reading this, get on talk shows. Talk about your company and it's future in candid, off-the-cuff manner. Put the corporate lingo behind and speak in honest, truthful and unambiguous ways. You should be on Joe Rogan, you should be doing more interviews and generally have a lively presence. Look at how Stripe founders defend their company: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22937303

What kind of leadership is this? In my opinion, Google's image and its opinion has gone down hill since Sundar's appointment as CEO, but that's just a general emotion I have - not sure if it is financially or more widely true.


A large part of Google's zeitgeist is the idea that they're these spunky mysterious geniuses with bicycle meetings and volleyball courts. A really smart engineer going on Joe Rogan would be an unmitigated disaster as Rogan would constantly cut off his rhetoric knowing his audience would be completely uninterested in any substantial technical speak.

It's people like Musk who understand PR and market manipulation who benefit from talkshow rounds.

Don't get me wrong I'd love to see the real Google on full display, piercing the veil of youtube DRM, Dragonfly, and Android app store permissions. But Google will intelligently avoid that at all costs.


Someone once called Rogan's podcast intellectual tourism and I haven't been able to prove them wrong.


It reminds me a lot of Malcolm Gladwell. I have mixed feelings about MG but there has been a fair bit of controversy [1] over his true nature as a journalist while he projects and speaks as a scientist or intellectual.

[1]: https://www.thecrimson.com/column/behavioral-economist/artic...


He's also been a paid spokesperson for big tobacco without making that relationship clear while he is speaking.


Totally agree, that's why I love it. I guess it comes if you prefer a depth-first or breadth-first path in learning.


The good thing about Rogan is that he doesn't pretend to be more than that.


Exactly. I have zero issues with that, and the fact that Joe Rogan is aware of it helps a ton.

I like listening to all the various guests he invites, like doctors or even professional archers. I like hearing them talk about their stuff deep enough where I, as a person who knows not much at all about their specialty topics, can learn something. But it would become not that interesting to me if every single guest of his would dive so deep, I would not be able to understand anything without reading a tons of pre-req material.

It is a really difficult thing to balance, between going too in-depth and being too surface-level. And, I feel like, that's why Joe is so popular, as he nails it very well.

For the topics that I want to dive very deep into, I can just listen to specialized podcasts on those topics. But as a general "seeing tons of cool stuff and learning about basics of really diverse topics I would never see otherwise", Joe's podcast is great. Plus, Joe manages to open up people, to the point where they get really candid and, for the lack of a better word in my mind, human. Even the people who hold very opposing views to those of Joe's.


That's a great term. Sounds like a lot of YouTube channels and podcasts.


Maybe I'm stupid but could someone enlighten me as to what "intellectual tourism" might mean? Is that like, a normal person pretending to be intellectual, or is it like browsing Wikipedia with no specific purpose except for the brain snacks? I can't even tell if that's an insult to Joe Rogan or not.


Agree with the other poster, not an insult at all. Think pop-science books or discussing Mayan art over beers.

I'd personally be thrilled if more people were intellectual tourists. In my professional technical life, I'd far rather talk to people with a superficial understanding than people who's mental model is part TV-hackers, part magic.


I don't think it's meant to be an insult. The way I interpret it, "intellectual tourism" means looking at / listening to "intellectual" topics, but only in a cursory manner with little deep conversation.


Have you ever seen that episode of The Office where the boss comes back from vacation to Jamaica? I see it as that but for wanting to sound smart and intellectual.


> Don't get me wrong I'd love to see the real Google on full display, piercing the veil of youtube DRM, Dragonfly, and Android app store permissions.

Then you better stop interviewing engineers, and start interviewing the business people. Most of the latter's job description is figuring this sort of stuff out.


I think you're hung up on the interviewer and missing the larger point. Replace Joe Rogan with Lex Fridman or whatever...it doesn't matter.


Google is too big to be elite now. 120,000 people, they're just another corporation.


99% of people would love to have Google on their resumes not with standing the salaries and perks. Don't kid yourself. Google is still elite. You can also go on Blind and see where everyone wants to work.

A lot of people who get rejected by Google keep spewing the anti Google propaganda here.


Sorry dont get me wrong, its probably still the top FANG to work for. Just that it isn't elite.


It still has incredibly smart people. And the hiring bar is common across the company. Now don't name a 5 person shop as "more elite".


Top in every sense but salary. Google no longer pays top of market except in hyper niche specializations. You'll get more cash at F & N.


Google matches F very easily. Know 2 people whose F was outmatched by G. They were not niche jobs.


If they have to match, that's another way of saying their default offer is a lowball, and that's why G offers are ~20k less than F (check levels.fyi).


That's because FB has to pay higher to attract the same talent. Many many people join G at lower offers as well.


So if FAANG isn't elite, what is?


From being the product manager of both android and google chrome to having to appear in your trashy youtube recommends section because you want to watch him defend company policy.


People love and trust Google, dude. It's one of the most beloved brands in America (and probably the world). He's handling this perfectly.


The only reason to do that is when you want the stock price higher or if you need support, and he doesn't need anything.

What was Stripe up to 24 days ago? Closing a $600m round.


Why would Sundar or Google benefit from this?


Engaging with their future talent pool? When communities like HN and other tech hubs start thinking adversarially about your company, it has major consequences. People in the talent pool aren't stupid - they're trading off their time for a salary, but also trading the opportunity cost.

Given a choice between Google and say... Stripe - where would you work?


You'd be surprised where 99% of HN would work regardless of their comment history. Google has no shortage of smart people coming in. And not that HN is some elite bunch of "10x rockstars". Most efficient workers probably don't have time for the nonsense here.


As long as Google keeps the salaries up there won't be a lack of people wanting to work there.


I _think_ I'd like this, but imagine if he turns out to be like Zuck. A robot that lives in his own Silicone Valley bubble.


Yeah, I presume even if Sundar wanted to get out in the Public, their shareholders wouldnt want to. Stripe founders don't have to worry about externalities since it is a private company.


Not to mention the army of gatekeepers and moderators employed by the likes of Twitter often in countries not know for democracy or free speech to take down individuals.

At least some of it can be attributed to oil money greasing their palms.




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