Australian court orders Google to reveal the identity of anonymous negative reviewer

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by mood, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    Australian court orders Google to reveal user who wrote a dentist’s bad review
    An Australian dentist wants to sue someone who criticized his practice
    February 14, 2020

    https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/14/google-unmask-author-of-dentist-negative-review/
    Judge allows Melbourne dentist to try new tactic to more quickly unmask negative online reviewer
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well, some of us care enough to hide our identities. Even from our good friend, Google ;)
     
  3. longshots

    longshots Registered Member

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    It seems as if my politicians are bending over for Google, so I am left to ponder who they may accommodate next. So, in the event that some of my comments here may "may have been misinterpreted as sarcastic" please accept my sincerest apologies.

    Dear {Poster}

    Please allow me to apologize for what I {posted} on {day of week}. My behavior was extremely inappropriate, immature, and lacked the respect {you think you} deserved. It was a disruption and distracted others from {the topic, even if the whole post was off topic}.

    It was probably embarrassing to {you, maybe even some others}, but I learned that nobody {lacking humour/personality} appreciated my poor behavior. In the future, I have every intention of {trying, attempting, etc..} to curb my thoughtless actions and learn to adjust my behavior befitting the environment and situation.

    Again, I am sorry for my actions and I hope that we can put this matter behind us. I look forward to {politelyo_O} responding to your posts {again/soon/ or never}. If you have any thoughts in this, please feel free to share. You may contact me at your convenience at {email,phone, message in a bottle}.

    Sincerely,
    longshots
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  5. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    Did anyone there in the land down under actually bothered to check if what
    the anonymous critic said were true? Were other clients interviewed?

    I hope that craziness down there won't ever spread up here.
     
  6. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I hope it DOES. I think taking anonymous pot-shots at someone's livelihood is dastardly.
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I guess. But once it's OK to pressure Google to pwn users, it may hurt people about whom you do care.

    Not that Google doesn't already pwn innocent users :(
     
  9. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    The whole thing of internet review is highly unsatisfactory in both directions. I've personally been aware of a business unfairly reviewed to their detriment. And, clearly, fake reviews are rampant.

    However, there are cases where the power is very asymmetrical (due to the imbalance in money and relative ease in prosecuting libel suits - I understand the latter is true in Australia), it actively encourages people to adopt anonymity in order to speak truth and have it heard. It's well known that big corporations have silenced criticism using their money to overpower individuals who cannot afford to go through a court case.
     
  10. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    100% agree!

    I don't know about Australia, but there are numerous ways in the USA, other than posting on google et alia, for reporting bad products or bad services. Examples: better business bureau, American Medical Association, American Dental Association, etc.

    In the situation at hand --- if google refuses to reveal the anonymous writer, then the government of Australia should sue google for defamation because google is the one who published the defamatory writings. By refusing to reveal the writer's identity, google has aided & abeted the defamation and defied an Australian court order. Australia should defend its citizen in such a case for the same reason that Australia would defend a citizen unfairly imprisoned by a foreign country.

    Google is not an altruistic organization that solicits & publishes opinions "for the good of mankind." Everything that google does is targeted toward making money, whether directly or indirectly. Therefore, google solicited this article and published it for financial reasons. Thus, Google aided & abetted this defamation and should be held accountable.

    Google is an international financial giant that can squash the Australian dentist, just a surely as a foreign nation could. Therefore Australia should take google to court for defamation, on behalf of its citizen, the dentist.
     
  11. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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  12. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Google, Facebook users face lawsuits over defamatory reviews

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02...posts-legal-action-freedom-of-speech/11973040
     
  13. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Here's the crux of the issue though, you are supposed to be making unbiased reviews, and - critically - unpaid reviews. The people who benefit from you doing so are the Amazons, Google etc.

    Why would anyone submit these reviews if they are then liableo_O? and penalised with consequential loss or damageso_O? - this is asymmetric risk, and one where the power and money (which determine these kind of legal cases rather more than justice) is all on the side of the corporates and companies. If any negative review might be prosecuted, then people will rather obviously learn not to make them, even if true and supportable and not malicious.

    Yet another reason for avoiding all opinions and social media exposure on the interwebs, where it can be linked to your real identity. It's an unnecessary hostage to fortune, exposing you to danger in many ways.
     
  14. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    That is the exact reason why my posts are made to such sites with "connectivity prowess" on my end. I get paid nothing for an honest review if its positively glowing, but I get beat up for stating the truth because it has negative impact on the site? Unfair.
     
  15. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Well yes. It's a classic mug's game: come along, roll up and spend your time pro bono out of the goodness of your heart to provide a review. You get paid nothing AND - now you get to have liabilities! Liabilities which are essentially unbounded or determined by consequential loss PLUS any legal fees. Why should any sane person participate in that?

    It's all part of the big con game, where Jo Public get to take risks without any upside and correspondingly, the big corporates/companies shuffle off risk and take the money. Nice. If the review sites were behaving themselves they would find a way of binding both merchants and reviewers under a compulsory arbitration scheme which would also limit or exclude reviewer liability. But why would they do that? It's some else's problem!

    Of course, if there's anonymity, you get both malicious bad reviews and likewise fraudulent good reviews.
     
  16. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Gangland lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson launches court action to unmask Google reviewer
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02...e-wilson-court-action-against-google/11982866
     
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