Imagine that you are new to town but need to visit the doctor. Like many people in your situation, you’d likely consult the Yellow Pages. What happens if that doctor commits malpractice? Should you be able to sue the Yellow Pages for the referral?
This situation is no longer hypothetical. Google is being sued for leading people to child porn sites. Here’s the scoop from C-Net:
Jeffrey Toback, a representative in New York’s Nassau County Legislature, charged in a complaint filed Thursday that Google has been taking in billions of dollars by allowing child pornography and “other obscene content” operators to advertise their sites through sponsored links, which are tailored to a user’s search terms and automatically accompany search results. The suit was filed in the New York Supreme Court. [...]
The suit, which claims Google acted negligently and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the public, requests monetary damages to be determined at trial. It also accuses Google of violating federal statutes relating to child pornography and calls for the court to order that Google cease “advertising, promoting, or distributing” child pornography through its site or otherwise providing any links to such content.
It’s important to note that Toback has “also co-sponsored a law designed to protect teenagers from tanning beds and has planned this year to pursue a ban of toy guns in the area.”