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'Bankrupt' Australian Surgeon Sues Google For Auto-Complete

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the why-is-google-so dept.

Google 305

An anonymous reader writes "Australian surgeon Guy Hingston is suing Google in the U.S. for 'auto-complete' defamation. Typing in his name brings up 'Guy Hingston bankrupt' in the auto-complete. The association seems to have come about because Hingston purchased an aviation group CoastJet which went bankrupt two-and-a-half years later. Hingston himself was also bankrupted. Hingston claims this association has cost him customers and is suing Google for $75k, plus court costs. Google has often found itself the target of litigation over auto-complete searches. Are auto-complete results even useful? Should Google be policing the auto-complete suggestions?"

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Well... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42665869)

Maybe he shouldn't of gone bankrupt.

Re:Well... (5, Interesting)

neonmonk (467567) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666263)

He didn't. His personal bankruptcy was annulled.

But even if he did go bankrupt from the CoastJet business failing, should that be broadcast to everyone as soon as they even type in his name into Google? It's completely out of context. He didn't go bankrupt from being sued by patients. He didn't go bankrupt by gambling his money at the casino (although buying into aviation at this stage of the game could be argued as riskier) - the guy is being punished needlessly.

Does this have to go to a lawsuit though? Why can't Google seem to moderate themselves effectively? You should be able to fill out a form saying "Google autocomplete is being mean to me" and Google decides whether or not it makes sense to remove said autocomplete. It shouldn't be hard. Simple common sense.

I don't know what the case here is, but if he did try to contact Google then I'm sure they ignored him completely as they are wont to do.

Anyone who claims this is about freedom of speech are being ridiculous. Should people be able to buy billboard space around the world and declare to the world that you are pedophile? Or something true, a compulsive masturbator? What makes a Google autocomplete any different?

Re:Well... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666317)

But even if he did go bankrupt from the CoastJet business failing, should that be broadcast to everyone as soon as they even type in his name into Google? It's completely out of context. He didn't go bankrupt from being sued by patients. He didn't go bankrupt by gambling his money at the casino (although buying into aviation at this stage of the game could be argued as riskier) - the guy is being punished needlessly.While I understand the wanting to keep something like that quiet, it is public information. I'm not sure it is wrong to have it there even if it is undesirable.

Re:Well... (5, Interesting)

Pseudonym (62607) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666327)

I'm not sure that Google autocomplete is the place to draw the line, but you do raise a good point. You have to think about this in the context of big data and modern government and corporate surveillance.

We all know the stories of people being placed on TSA watchlists, arrested, interrogated, and even tortured for having a similar name to a bad guy [wikipedia.org] or being the second cousin of a bad guy [wikipedia.org] .

People's actions can be chilled or even lives ruined by very tenuous associations in databases. And whether through the Erdos/Bacon game, the assumption that correlation is the same as causation, or plain old coincidence, data mining can uncover associations which are false or misleading, even if they are statistically significant.

Now we may argue that people shouldn't base decisions on associations made by Google's machine learning algorithms. It is, ultimately, the responsibility of the person making the decision to evaluate the strength of the evidence rationally. In a perfect world, where everyone is perfectly sane and rational, and no snap judgments ever have to be made, we could assume this.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, these databases exist and are used. So how much responsibility should be placed on those maintaining the databases for making sure that the contents are accurate, particularly clearing up a mistake when it is pointed out? Is there additional responsibility if the database is accessible to the public?

It's a very interesting question, and I don't know the answer.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666561)

His personal bankruptcy was annulled.

How do you annul a bankruptcy? And even if it's annulled, it did happen. He was bankrupt, even if, like the stars, it was only 23 hours between marriage and annulment. If that annulment mattered, then "Guy Hingston" should complete to "Guy Hingston bankruptcy annuled", and that would be perfectly fine.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666587)

But even if he did go bankrupt from the CoastJet business failing, should that be broadcast to everyone as soon as they even type in his name into Google?

Yes. Because that's what you'll find prominently in the articles mentioning his name.

Someone looking for a cancer surgeon is going to google his name and then cross it off without even reading beyond the autocomplete? Bullshit. This just a guy trying to turn the bad press his failing businesses generated into a payday.

you should be able to fill out a form saying "Google autocomplete is being mean to me

You should be able to ignore it and get on with your life. Google doesn't create the articles it indexes. It's not Google's responsibility to hide ones you find embarrassing. Quite the opposite. Maybe this doctor wants to borrow money from me and I want to know his business history. If Google hides that, and I loan him money and he stiffs me, should I then sue Googel?

Should people be able to buy billboard space around the world and declare to the world that you are pedophile?

So, you use the Chewbacca defence, then?

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666801)

Should people be able to buy billboard space around the world and declare to the world that you are pedophile? Or something true, a compulsive masturbator? What makes a Google autocomplete any different?

Unlike a billboard google just displays the most common search terms, it's a statistical fact, not an endorsement.

Anyone who claims this is about freedom of speech are being ridiculous.

Anyone who claims that google auto-complete reflects google's opinion is also being ridiculous. Having said that I do agree with the rest of your post, I like the basic concept of the "right to be forgotten", I also think there should be some mechanism whereby a person can demand their name be removed from a commercial search index with no questions asked other than proof of identity. OTOH I'm not sure how well that would work out in practice with common names.

Re:Well... (3, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666525)

He obviously has too much money left and he wants to waste it on lawyers so that he can go bankrupt again...

Libel? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42665877)

How can it be libelous if it's true?

Re:Libel? (4, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665887)

It can be libel and true at the same time if it invades privacy, but I don't think it applies in this case.

Re:Libel? (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665967)

It can be libel and true at the same time if it invades privacy, but I don't think it applies in this case.

True. But bankruptcy rulings are public info in Australia. The bankruptcy is to protect you from your creditors, you cant do this the ruling is secret.

So,
Is Guy Hingston bankrupt = Yes
Is this public knowledge = Yes
Will this get thrown out of court = Yes

Re:Libel? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666051)

Do you "bronies" realize that you are a disgrace to humanity? Your mere existence is worse than Hitler, the Soviets, Native American Genocide, and all suffering and death to come combined. Know why? Because your predecessors survived through it, and you spend your days wishing that you could have sex with a horse. How would your medieval ancestors, breaking their backs in fields just to have their towns pillaged and raped feel about you slobbering over this shit? You are literally the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth.

Re:Libel? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666535)

and you spend your days wishing that you could have sex with a horse.

Just wishing? That does show a great lack of initiative.

Re:Libel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666085)

Google absolutely must police the autocomplete since they are the ones using automation to suggest a relevant search.

Re:Libel? (4, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666147)

Under Australian Law the Truth is a Defence to Defamation. You don't even need to show "public interest", just that what was said was "substantially true." http://www.thenewsmanual.net/Resources/medialaw_in_australia_02.html [thenewsmanual.net]

But he's suing in America which has even stronger free speech laws! Good luck with that!

Re:Libel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666163)

That's not libel -- at least not in the U.S. Perhaps Australian law is different. In the U.S., libel has to be false.

Re:Libel? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666545)

That's not libel -- at least not in the U.S. Perhaps Australian law is different. In the U.S., libel has to be false.

Are there exceptions? I got the impression from a TV show (I know not a reliable source) that it was libellous to spread something in sealed juvenile records.

Re:Libel? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666571)

It doesn't have to be false. If it's true and said with the intention of maliciously causing harm (or true and causes harm, regardless of intention, in some states, mostly about protected industries, like ranchers/cows in TX and oranges in FL), it can be libel.

Re:Libel? (5, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665943)

The summary leaves out that Hingston's bankruptcy was subsequently annulled.

Google is only reporting on the associated between "Hingston" and "bankrupt" because other people have made that association, either by typing it into Google, or by publishing it on sites that Google indexes. Personally, I think this sort of activity should be protected - "other people have typed "Hingston bankrupt" into Google" is a fact, regardless of whether Hingston is, or ever was, bankrupt.

Re:Libel? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665969)

He shouldn't complain. It's better than "Hingston mutant genetic sandwich"

Re:Libel? (2)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666009)

which I shall now start searching for.

Re:Libel? (1)

aiht (1017790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666421)

which I shall now start searching for.

Currently returns 1 hit - the parent comment. Let's keep it up!

Re:Libel? (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666491)

Don't put it in quotation marks google dosen't use searches with quotation marks in autocomplete.

Re:Libel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666435)

In many countries that adopted British law truth is not a defense to defamation charges, which are often named libel by the press.

Doesn't defamation generally require.... (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665901)

... that the defamatory remark be something which cannot be unambiguously proven? If something bad happens to person X, reporting that fact doesn't really put person X in any more of a disparaging light than the fact that the bad thing had actually happened in the first place.

Re:Doesn't defamation generally require.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42665977)

This is true in the US. Under British law, you can be liable for defamation for telling the truth. I don't know what Australian law says.

Re:Doesn't defamation generally require.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666061)

Yes, I know that defamation isn't slander or libel, but I thought that defamation had to be something bad which was based on opinion, not provable facts.

Better idea (2)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665903)

Rather than spending his money on lawyers he might be better off spamming Google with other autocompletes until it wipes out this one. Things like Guy Hingston, greatest surgeon ever! And Guy Hingston saves the planet from alien invasion! and Guy Hingston cures cancer and AIDS, saves baby seals!

Re:Better idea (2)

tsa (15680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665911)

Don't forget: Guy Hingston thinks of the children!

Re:Better idea (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666579)

or alternatively: Guy Hingston thinks of the children while in the shower.

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666049)

That might result in "Guy Hingston AIDS" which might be even worse for a surgeon.

Re:Better idea (4, Funny)

quenda (644621) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666055)

Even better idea: get his name associated with porn, then google automatically disables auto-complete. (Try typing in the name of a porn star and you'll see.)

Seriously, he just needs to start a good free porn site with his name, put out some press releases, buy a few ads in the mainstream media, then everybody will google "Guy Hingston porn" and his problem will go away.

Re:Better idea (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666499)

That could impact his business even more. If he is going to take that route he would be better off taking a vacation, quietly meet with a porn producer and pay them to use his name on a bunch of there film. Associate the link to a completely different guy. This would give the desired Google filtering, and when the filtering doesn't work, it will just look like a guy with the same name.

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666581)

So who wants the job at Google of finding and entering the names of all the porn stars? Remember you should only watch the credits!

Re:Better idea (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666517)

According to the summary Guy Hingston also bought a private jet plane. And then he went bankrupt. His money would be better spent on classes on financial responsibility.

Re:Better idea (1)

spongman (182339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666679)

how about "Guy Hingston sues people he doesn't like - don't let him near you with sharp knives."

Welcome to the internet your Dr Nosaurus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42665913)

sue a search engine , haha

man these dinosaurs dont understand the concept of search in search engines.

Is It Untrue? (1)

EXTomar (78739) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665931)

It is only defamation if it is untrue. If Hingston had a business that went bankrupt and went bankrupt then where is the defamation?

Re:Is It Untrue? (1)

Barny (103770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666005)

He didn't, the bankruptcy was overturned.

Re:Is It Untrue? (5, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666259)

It wasn't overturned, his lawyer said it was annulled: "Separate documents obtained from Insolvency Trustee Services Australia show Dr Hingston was bankrupted on August 4 2009. Dr Hingston's lawyer Philip Beazley said that bankruptcy had been annulled."

http://www.itsa.gov.au/dir228/itsaweb.nsf/docindex/Bankruptcy-%3EPersonal+Insolvency+Information-%3E5F.+Annulment [itsa.gov.au] What is annulment?
Annulment is the cancellation of a bankruptcy.

There are three ways a bankruptcy can be annulled:
* The creditors’ debts including interest and trustee’s fees and expenses are paid in full.
* Your creditors accept a composition or arrangement which is an offer of something less than payment in full.
* Application to the court in some limited circumstances.

Effects of annulment.
* Your annulment is recorded on the public record, the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) database, forever.
* Assets not needed by your trustee to pay your creditors, expenses and fees will be returned to you.

etc ...

Re:Is It Untrue? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666747)

It wasn't overturned. In US terms, it wasn't annulled either. He declared bankruptcy, reorganized his finances under bankruptcy protection, then exited bankruptcy by completing the terms imposed by the court. Calling that "annulled" is like calling a convicted murderer "annulled" once he serves his prison time. Nope, once you complete the judicial process, you still are what you declared yourself to be when you started it.

Slander and libel (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665949)

I don't see how it's either, since auto-complete is based on what people are entering as search terms. It's the result of an algorithm, not a human. Algorithms have no sense of morality, they just do what they're told. You might as well say a car slandered you for backfiring as it drove by. Also... he doesn't own an exclusive right to the name 'Guy Hingston'.

In short, Mr. Hingston -- screw you. Also... Guy Hingston Bankrupt Guy Hingston Bankrupt Guy Hingston Bankrupt. I hope you do for having such a piss-poor understanding of the internet.

Re:Slander and libel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666043)

Algorithms have no life of their own, they have no self-will, and Google has been the victim of exploitation enough that it's not unreasonable to say it's a problem that they need to consider, or that the legal system in place will need to address.

How should it be addressed? I suspect something better than your blithe indifference would be more suitable.

Re:Slander and libel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666149)

A few important points to note

1. Republishing slander is still slander. So simply saying Google is repeating what others tell them is no defense against slander charges.

2. Automated slander is still slander. If some robocaller called you, would you accept "it is the machine calling you! I am not responsible!" as an excuse? If the Google self-driving car hit somebody, would you claim that Google is not responsible because it is just "the result of an algorithm"? If Google's algorithm resulted in spreading slander, then Google IS responsible for it.

3. Ownership. Would Google object if another search engine copy the auto-complete result from Google and offer it to their own users? If yes, does that suggests Google is claiming ownership (and thus responsibility) on the auto-complete results?

Re:Slander and libel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666207)

2. Automated slander is still slander.

Nonsense. This is as unenforceable as the DMCA takedown notices are. The problem with those is that larger websites get so many that the takedowns end up being automated, and the automated solutions (and other solutions involving giving copyright holders the ability to take material down) are notoriously bad. If you want to ruin websites and businesses, the best way to do that is to hold them culpable for what their users and/or automated systems do. All you idiots care about is fucked up libel/slander laws.

Re:Slander and libel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666319)

Correct. Haha!

Re:Slander and libel (1)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666515)

It's the result of an algorithm, not a human. Algorithms have no sense of morality, they just do what they're told. You might as well say a car slandered you for backfiring as it drove by. Also... he doesn't own an exclusive right to the name 'Guy Hingston'.

Algorithms are produced by people, and ultimately it is up to those people to manage its behavior. That's why they can't hide behind the shield of 'It's just an algoritm' in anti-trust cases. They have to demonstrate that the expected behavior of the algorithm is neutral towards competitors.
I'm not sure of the merit of the case based on Australian law, though it would set a dangerous precident. If you happen to share a name with somebody who has been accused of racist remarks, can you sue when autocomplete adds 'racist' to your name?

Re:Slander and libel (1)

The_Revelation (688580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666775)

I came here to say this. Aren't the real perpetrators the news organisations who have clearly published stories regarding his bankruptcy resulting in poison auto-correct searches?

Maybe he'd be better off paying for some news-worthy publicity for his surgery to alter his results, or contact the papers and have them revise their wording?

As a fellow Australian, I can quite comfortably say that Guy Hingston is a complete f$#king moron if he thinks this is the right way to deal with this.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42665953)

I personally don't see much benefit to the auto-complete. It's useful to get the correct spelling of a single word, but any more than that, and you get some crazy shit.

Looking up my own name followed by "is" actually shows nothing. That's probably the easiest way to prevent auto-complete problems, don't auto-complete if "is" or "was" is in the query.

Re:what? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666347)

I find it useful when doing input on a phone. Most of the stuff I am looking for on the fly like that is listed.

Yeah it's useful... and horrible at the same time (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42665995)

As much as I hate to admit it, I find Google search's autocomplete very useful in two cases:

- To check someone's exact name. For instance, if I hear "this song is called "Baby I wawawawa" written by "Jim Wawawawa" on the radio, without catching the song's title or author completely, I can type "baby I Jim" and usually Google finds the answer before I type enter.

- To check spelling.

This said, I've also experienced the effect of having something stick to my name in the Google autocomplete. Fortunately it was a long time ago, and my rigorous personal rule of staying strictly anonymous on the internet seems to be paying off, as Google seems to slowly forget about me. The autocomplete has been replaced by something that's happened to a guy who bears the same name as me, so it's all good for me.

So essentially, I find Google to be a constant, looming danger to my own privacy, but it's great to find out about others and other things. Of course...

Re:Yeah it's useful... and horrible at the same ti (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666303)

But you are not strictly anonamous . You forgot to check the little ac box.

Re:Yeah it's useful... and horrible at the same ti (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666665)

lots of people published under pseudonyms and considered that sufficiently anonymous.

Re:Yeah it's useful... and horrible at the same ti (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666673)

Google corrects my name to a business of a similar name. No acts associated with my name, and from what I can tell, my name is globally unique.

Re:Yeah it's useful... and horrible at the same ti (1)

spongman (182339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666689)

and to check which surgeons are bankrupt?

Another useless fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666003)

crying for attention.

1st link.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666015)

Dr Guy Hingston - Breast Reduction & Reconstruction Surgery ...
and you d assume that's him not some bankrup thingy that's what i thought i had to think a min what he means
like excuse me but i hate to say it bud , but there are 7 billion people on earth good chances with the "creative parents you have" that someone has the same name in fact i literally guarantee it

SEO gone wild (5, Insightful)

Lev13than (581686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666023)

As a surgeon, does he really think it's a good idea to replace the "Guy Hingston bankrupt" autocomplete with "Guy Hingston lawsuit"?

Re:SEO gone wild (5, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666097)

As a surgeon, does he really think it's a good idea to replace the "Guy Hingston bankrupt" autocomplete with "Guy Hingston lawsuit"?

Well, bear in mind that this is a guy who's basically called up the national media and proclaimed, 'I Google myself!'

Are auto-complete results even useful? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666025)

it might be, but half the time it seems the auto complete script chokes and leaves me with a blank page, making the point of it moot, other times as I am typing I see exactly what I am looking for, then the page changes.

I lived fine with clicking a button, and I still have to click a button so whats the point?

bloated unwanted feature

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666071)

Personally, my home page is https://www.google.com/?complete=0

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666083)

I find auto complete valuable, but not in terms of saving clicks. When I'm not sure how to phrase a query, I start with the terms I know and often autocomplete will give me a few reasonable options to go with. This is particularly helpful when I'm searching technical topics and need to use the right jargon in my query but can't quite remember the currently popular phraseology for a concept.

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666111)

so you dislike the feature because you can't get some in-line search cues when searching for 'how to get a rim job from a purple unicorn without having your ass ripped open'? pity shame.

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666387)

oh I know exactly what to type for a purple unicorn rimjob without anal tearing

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666219)

Forget autocomplete, I just want Google to stop "helping" me by adding synonyms of my search terms to the results. Yes, I really wanted to find "fuzzy text" and I don't want to see results for "blurry" mixed in there because they think it might be good enough for me.

I have to wade through too much irrelevant crap or go to the trouble of clicking "verbatim" just to get what I was looking for in the first place. Hey Google, you only won out over other search engines because you returned the most RELEVANT links first and your interface was SIMPLE. Don't fuck it up further!

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666309)

Whenever these complaints come up, the examples are straight fucked up. Why were you searching for "fuzzy text" in the first place? I'm quite sure that most people searching for this indeed have troubles with blur - results with verbatim "fuzzy text" dealing with blurry LCDs show that it's so, therefore it is the relevant result. If it's not what you need, then you probably wanted to search for "fuzzy text matching" or something like that.

It's like complaining that you were looking for a carpenter to make you some seats and wanted to see what they have, but searching for "stool samples" didn't give you what you need.

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666401)

I was searching for datasheets on electronic parts most of the day today cleaning out stock, it is kind of annoying having it assume I meant s&p indexes when I was searching for an STxxx datasheet

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666461)

Whenever these complaints come up, the examples are straight fucked up. Why were you searching for "fuzzy text" in the first place?

Are you in tech support or development by any chance? Because that's usually the answer I get is "why do you want to do that?" Because I fucking feel like it, okay, pal? It's none of your damn business what I require. You lack imagination and Google shouldn't second-guess me.

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666703)

Huh? I just asked what was you really looking for with this phrase, instead I got "SHUT UP UR NOT MY MOM"

Seriously, search engines aren't magic, if you look for something specific, you should ask for something specific. When your question is specific enough, these suggestions are rather helpful (for example, "fuzzy text search" gives "Approximate string matching" on wikipedia as first result), and it seems most people appreciate them.

You're an outlier, why should others bend over to accomodate you? "Buuuut moooooom, doing two extra clicks for verbatim is sooooo haaaaard!"

Re: Are auto-complete results even useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666635)

"Ours not to reason why; ours but to shut up and comply."

Let's help the poor guy! (5, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666039)

OK, everybody, it's time to help him out here. Google for "Guy Hingston pumpkin fucker" until the association between Guy Hingston and bankrupt goes away!

Re:Let's help the poor guy! (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666275)

There did it.
Wanted to help the poor guy out.

Re:Let's help the poor guy! (2)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666311)

I was thinking "Guy Hingston asshole" but know when someone has a better idea.

Re:Let's help the poor guy! (3, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666351)

Wow, your post shows up as the first search result. Congrats!

Guy Hingston (1)

12WTF$ (979066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666505)

malpractice

That'll burn him.

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666045)

Courts should throw out all of these nonsensical lawsuits whether or not the information is true, false, public, or not public. Anyone who says otherwise despises freedom.

I thought aussies where hardcore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666179)

this guy straight bitch

quick everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666241)

everyone start searching for "guy hingston small penis"

I like auto complete (2)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666261)

It really help those of us that can't type faster than 50 wpm and can't spell worth a shit.

The amusing part... (3, Interesting)

synir (731266) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666269)

You know what's amusing? Through this lawsuit (and the good ol' Streisand effect) being reported all over the internet under the title "Guy Hingston... ... bankrupt" he's more or less ensuring the propagation of these terms' association while at the same time, since he likely has no viable legal case here, getting nothing back from Google.

I'd bet neither of those results were what he was hoping for.

Re:The amusing part... (3, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666391)

Here is the statement of claim. http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1221&context=historical [scu.edu]

"10. When an individual computer user types "Guy Hin ... ", into the Google search engine as a search, the words "Guy Hingston Bankrupt" appears. When the link(s) is clicked on, the article{s) to which the user is directed has absolutely nothing to do with a bankruptcy associated with Dr. Hingston. Dr. Hingston is not bankrupt. Any association with Dr. Hingston and a bankruptcy is in false light and/or defamatory. Dr. Hingston has directed numerous inquiries and made numerous requests, both oral and written, to Google for immediate action to resolve the foregoing issue to no avail."

My compliments to his lawyer who resisted padding this out to 30 pages.

Re:The amusing part... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666799)

If I were the judge, I'd throw it out because they don't specify the link that the autocomplete returns, and it's changed on account of the lawsuit itself. Also, he was bankrupt and did declare bankruptcy. He isn't, at this moment, bankrupt.

Re:The amusing part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666477)

... getting nothing back from Google

It's not the first time they have lost in these situations:
http://www.zdnet.com/google-loses-autocomplete-defamation-case-in-italy-3040092392/

Sadly they have lost in similar situations here as well:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20153309

Re:The amusing part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666577)

Unlike those the problem with Hingston's case is there really was a bankruptcy. It is silly to think that Google with their deep pockets and top tier lawyers wouldn't have uncovered those and tear apart his complaint in court. People think suing is a lotto ticket but it usually makes things worse: http://lawlessamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=870:how-kay-sieverding-lost-her-rights&catid=94:civil-liberties&Itemid=212 [lawlessamerica.com]

Good going stupid fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666297)

Sounds like he really deserves his results.

And with this lawsuit, this will further help is reputation.

And really, with a lawsuit like this, do you really want this fuck operating on you?

Auto-complete (1)

raftpeople (844215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666355)

Hopefully Ray Kurzweil can figure a way to turn off that damn auto-complete

Re:Auto-complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666415)

All Ray would do is make some abstract speech based on bullshit magic based in imagination

he was impressive when the fruit was low, not so much now when you have to consider reality post 1989

The short answer? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666379)

Are auto-complete results even useful?

No and it's fucking annoying. I have it disabled and my proxy filter set to ensure it stays that way. I'll submit my search query when I'm damn good and ready.

Tell google about your password! (2)

whois (27479) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666403)

My favorite thing about autocomplete is all the times I've typed something in the box I didn't mean to, or pasted something when the wrong thing was in my paste buffer. The autocomplete logs have got to be a goldmine of private individual data, and confidential corporate data.

This guy's never heard of the Streisand Effect (1)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666445)

The fact that he's suing Google for putting "bankrupt" in the autocomplete virtually ensures the words are permanantly linked together now that the news everywhere is reporting that Google put "bankrupt" in the autocom... (cue infinite loop). And now not just on Google, but also on Bing, Yahoo and pretty much every other search engine that didn't previously put "bankrupt" next to his name.

What an idiot.

Re:This guy's never heard of the Streisand Effect (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666655)

What an idiot.

Not if the aim of the suit is to get Google to pay him compensation, then the more bad press about him, the better.

Is auto-complete useful? Let's ask Google. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666483)

"Are auto-complete results even useful?"

Well, let's ask Google. [vortexcortex.com]
Autocomplete is:
Autocomplete is not a function
Autocomplete is not working
Autocomplete is not working in outlook 2010
...

I'm afraid I have to agree with Google on this one.

Maybe he should have googled Streisand Effect... (1)

clokwise (844691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666493)

So I just googled the guy. The entire first page of results (and several subsequent pages) are about one of two things:

1) Guy Hingston sued Google because of the term 'bankrupt' appearing in the auto-complete
2) Guy Hingston saved a bus load of children from a burning building

Sadly, now that's he's filed the lawsuit, he'll forever be known as the bankrupt douche doctor who sued Google. Well, at least those children will remember him for the true hero he really is.

Re:Maybe he should have googled Streisand Effect.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666777)

AFAICT, second one is just zgeek's headline for same news about him suing Google and there were no actual children involved. Would be fun if Google started disseminating untrue, but positive, information about him as a result.

Slashdot sued for neglecting Australia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666497)

Australians object to seeing Slashdot stories that aren't about Australians.

Maybe Google should (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666565)

Maybe Google should counter-sue everyone who searched for that term!

Oh Google you... (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666595)

Google just wants to be helpful. In fact when I joined Google+, it asked me if I wanted to add my ex wife! (no)

And when I search for a raccoon knit hat for my daughter's birthday, I get to see that ad on every website I visit for the next month! (argh)

I don't know about you, Google is super helpful! /s

Did he try a non-litigative approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42666617)

Did he, say, ASK them?

mandatory post (1)

futhermocker (2667575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666751)

1. create websites with your name associated to nasty stuff 2. ???? 3. profit!

Defamation? (1)

wgoodman (1109297) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666793)

It isn't defamation if it's true. Good luck in court.

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