Inventor of Vibrating Toilet Seat Sues Google Over Allegedly Defamatory Search Results

From the we-aren't-making-this-up-department:

Johnny I. Henry, an inventor of the vibrating toilet seat, filed a lawsuit last week against Google, Inc. and AOL, claiming that search results delivered by Google and hosted by AOL are defamatory.  In his pro se complaint, Henry, who is African-American, asserts that Google's search results include links to, and snippets of text from, sites that contain pictures of him with captions containing a racial epithet. 

According to InformationWeek:

Had Henry chosen to use Google with the SafeSearch preference set to "Use strict filtering," he wouldn't have seen the sites and been offended. That's because the sites in question appear to host sexual content. "Safe Search currently applies to sexual content only, not to racial epithets," explained a Google official in an e-mail.  

Henry's lawsuit will almost certainly be dismissed pursuant to section 230 of the Communications Decency, which protects search and service providers like Google and AOL from liability for content created by third parties.

You can follow further developments in this case, which likely won't last long, by checking out our legal threats database entry, Henry v. Google


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