A Jewish Spaniard has filed a lawsuit against Google over the search engine’s failure to block virulently racist and defamatory material after a takedown notice was filed by his lawyer. He filed the lawsuit in Ibiza with assistance from The Lawfare Project, a legal think tank and litigation fund that safeguards the civil rights of Jewish communities around the world.
The claimant found the material identified in the lawsuit after carrying out a Google search in Spanish using the search terms “Holocaust” and “truth”. The content in the results included extreme racism against Jewish people, labeling Jews as “degenerate” and the embodiment of evil. The content in question belongs to a Nazi website with a sizable following across the Spanish-speaking world, not only in Spain but also South America. The website makes clear its connections to the notorious U.S. Nazi website, the Daily Stormer, providing details on how to access it on the Dark Web.
The claimant is seeking to block such material from being promoted by Google in its search results, on the basis of both Spanish law and Supreme Court precedents, under which search engines are only exempted from liability if they block illegal content soon after receiving a complaint.
Before the complaint, the claimant had—under the counsel of The Lawfare Project—succeeded in taking down content from numerous websites with extreme material about the victims of the Holocaust.
The Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel also previously sent a written complaint to Google LLC over illegal content, warning them that it was not only abusive and offensive but defamatory to Jewish people and demanding that it be blocked from the search engine. No action was taken by Google, resulting in the filing of a libel lawsuit, as the nature of the content is libelous against Jews.
Google LLC will be now be served with a summons for a hearing on an injunction to block the content from the its search results, and will be given 20 working days to answer the complaint.
The Lawfare Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, who is acting on behalf of the plaintiff, said:
“The complaint seeks to block from Google’s search results a third-party’s content that disparages the Jewish people. After a detailed online complaint was made in June 2018, Google LLC refused to take any action.”
Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said:
“The plaintiff gave Google a simple choice—stop promoting vicious racism or face a lawsuit. The Lawfare Project is proud to be assisting in this important effort to enforce Spanish anti-discrimination laws applicable to internet hate. Content that libels Jews and promotes hatred and violence against them has no place in the 21st century.”
About the Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities around the world. To learn more, please visit https://www.thelawfareproject.org.