It looks like innovation isn’t always good for everyone. When autocomplete was first introduced to the Google Search Engine, it saved users a lot of time from entering commonly searched for terms. However, the most commonly searched for phrases aren’t necessarily the friendliest of results. Google was recently taken to court by Italy when the company refused to censor the autocomplete function on their search engine. Apparently when the name of a public figure is entered into the search box, the words “truffatore” (con man) and “truffa” (fraud) pop up with autocomplete. Apparently even autocomplete entries can be considered defamatory and so Google was requested to filter them. Google refused, saying they didn’t want to remove autocomplete terms because they were automatically generated by an algorithm. Unfortunately Google lost the case, and so Google searches in Italy won’t have such autocomplete entries anymore. I wonder if autocomplete can get Google into anymore trouble in the future.
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