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Google loses defamation case in Italy

Court of Milan has upheld its earlier decision to order Google to filter out libelous phrases that pop up in automcomplete suggestions in the search input bar.

Google has lost a case in Italy over the defamatory nature of autocomplete suggestions, according to a lawyer for the complainant.

Lead counsel Carlo Piana wrote on his blog today that the Court of Milan has upheld its earlier decision to order Google to filter out libelous search suggestions. These are the suggestions that pop up in Google's search input bar, proposing what the user might be wanting to search for.

People searching via Google for Piana's client, who remains publicly unnamed, were apparently presented with autocomplete suggestions including truffatore ("con man") and truffa ("fraud").

Google said it was "disappointed" by the court's decision. "We believe that Google should not be held liable for terms that appear in autocomplete as these are predicted by computer algorithms based on searches from previous users, not by Google itself," the company said today in a statement. "We are currently reviewing our options."

Read more of "Google loses autocomplete defamation case in Italy" at ZDNet UK.