France Orders Google to Censor Nazi-Themed Orgy Party Photos

Thursday, November 07, 2013 - 12:49 PM

French courts have ordered Google to censor images of former Formula One chief Max Mosley at a Nazi-themed orgy. 

UK tabloid The News Of The World originally published the photos. Mosley won a lawsuit against NOTW on the grounds that they'd breached his privacy. But of course, the photos are still out there, and Mosley wants to remedy that. 

Mosley originally asked British courts to force NOTW to take the video down and had no luck. Here's the The Register:

Mr Justice Eady came to the conclusion that because the material has already been widely reported, and is still widely available, granting an injunction would serve no purpose.

According to the PA, Eady said: "I have come to the conclusion that the material is so widely accessible that an order in the terms sought would make very little practical difference.

By going to France, and switching his target from NOTW to Google, Mosley apparently had more luck. France told Google not only that the images have to be filtered, but they have to be filtered worldwide. Otherwise, beginning in 2014, Google'll be fined €1,000 every time a photo of Mosely shows up in Google search results. 

I'm curious to see how this all resolves. It's hard to get more than four paragraphs into a story like this without mentioning the Streisand Effect - the idea that censorship attempts online just lead to people propagating the content even further. A future where these images are scrubbed from the internet seems unimaginable. It's very hard to hide a story that includes the words "Nazi-themed orgy party photos." But it'll be interesting to see how Google responds to the ruling. 

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Comments [1]

mdan from United States

It's the petulant child in me, but I'd be tempted if I was Google to make Max Mosley disappear altogether so a Google search yields nothing. Assuming such a thing is even technologically possible.

Nov. 07 2013 02:15 PM

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