11 Sep 2012

Google sued for defamation over search results

The wife of former German President Christian Wulff has included search engine giant Google in legal action to end allegations over her private life.

Google: search results lead to law suit

According to a report by the BBC, when the name Bettina Wulff is typed into Google’s search function, suggested search terms includes the words ‘prostitute’ and ‘red light district’.

However, Google says its suggested search function is auto-generated and reflects what other users are already searching for.

Political career

Mrs Wulff strenuously denies ever working as a prostitute. It has been reported that the rumours were started in order to disrupt the political career of her lawyer husband.

Mrs Wulff’s lawyers have already issued 34 successful cease-and-desist orders, including one against a prominent German television personality, German newspaper Der Spiegel reports.

Search terms

Google Germany’s head of PR, Kay Oberbeck, said the site's search terms were ‘algorithmically generated’ and ‘include the popularity of the entered search terms’.

‘All terms that appear have been previously entered by Google users,’ he added in a statement.