In a South Australian-first, internet giant Google is being sued by an Adelaide academic who claims she has been defamed by a US-based website it links to.
Former SA health researcher Dr Janice Duffy has been battling Google and Google Australia for the past six years after defamatory material was posted on the website that she claims has left her “unemployable’’.
JOin Dr. Duffy in her Global Boycotts against RipoffReport and Google on Facebook here and here.
Despite repeated requests, Google has not removed all links to the website ripoffreport.com — a “shaming’’ platform that allows anyone to post reports about people whom they suspect are behaving in a criminal or dishonest manner, regardless of its factual accuracy.
The case, which could have significant ramifications for all search engines if Dr Duffy is successful, will start in the Supreme Court before Justice Malcolm Blue on Monday after four years of painstaking directions hearings and discovery manoeuvres by both sides.
Dr Duffy, 59, who is representing herself because she has no money to continue paying lawyers, said she “had no choice but to take the company to court’’ in an effort to have the material removed.
She said while Google had removed some links after she commenced legal action, “it was never removed completely’’ and the website had subsequently returned it under other URLs.
“I only ever wanted it removed; that’s all I asked from day one,’’ she said.
“That’s all people who are bullied want, for it to stop.
“This fight has destroyed me financially, emotionally and physically.’’