I’m still stewing about that Breibart Tech article saying that 80% of undecided voters can be swayed by Google search manipulation. Since I’m a lawyer, I’m naturally trying to think of some way to sue the bastards. It’s what we do.
I’ll need to allege a tort as a cause of action, and after a quick review of the Restatement of Torts, Second, I came up empty. There are familiar common law torts, like battery, but there can also be statutory torts, created by Acts of Congress. I don’t there’s anything right now that quite fits the bill on this set of facts.
So we need to get a bill introduced to create this new, internet tort. The committee assigned the bill will need to conduct hearings and call witnesses. First up should be Dr. Robert Epstein, whose research has revealed what he calls the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, or SEME.
We’ll all be interested in Google’s testimony in opposition. Will they try to deny that they engage in SEME? Or will they try to justify it on First Amendment grounds? They should be put under oath, and sworn to tell us all the truth. These hearings alone justify the introduction of the bill. The Congressmen serving on this committee are going to have a ball, watching these smug Silicon People squirm.
Any individual, or class of individuals, would be authorized to file suit in federal court for harm caused by SEME. The burden of proof should be low enough to allow anyone with a good faith claim to make a prima facie case justifying discovery. All commissions of SEME, whether negligent, reckless or intentional should be covered. Treble damages would be authorized, to provide an incentive for plaintiffs attorneys to take cases on a contingency fee basis.
This would be a bonanza to the of trial lawyers and wannabe trial lawyers all over the country. Google would be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the litigation.
Let these snarling, greedy locusts come after Google in swarms, so much so that, as the Bible says, “They will cover the ground so that it cannot be seen.”
If you like this idea, call your Congressman, and see if he’s bright enough to even understand what you’re asking. A few will, and the scent of publicity will give them all the motivation they need.
All across the country, thousands of ambitious politicians are trying to win a seat in Congress, Do any of them have the wit to see the possibilities here?
Burden of proof low. A prima facie case can be made merely by showing an internet search provider has used an algorithm which adversely affects plaintiff’s internet presence
Hate speech exception — Nazis (?) can be crippled? NOOOO! Full free first amendment rights