Doctors sue for unfair Google reviews

63 individuals and organizations, including doctors in Tokyo, have filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that their interests were infringed because, among other things, they did not have their unfair content removed when it was posted on the ‘word-of-mouth’ of Google Maps.

The representative of the plaintiffs, a doctor practising in Tokyo, wrote in the clinic’s word-of-mouth that he was ‘paid at the door’ and that he ‘could not be examined’, and that he was given the lowest rating out of five, indicated by the number of stars.

In other cases, bad reviews were posted in the review section, such as ‘crazy’ and ‘didn’t treat me like a human being’, and in one case, the doctor received a grade of 1 on a 5-point scale.

The content of examination is confidential and it is difficult to post a rebuttal in the review section, and some doctors have asked Google to remove the information but have not been able to comply.

Doctor recieved email that from Google saying that doctor would have to talk to the contributor to have it removed or get a court order to have it removed.

This is a chronic occurrence in Google word-of-mouth, and the cases filed by the doctors may be the tip of the iceberg.

Balance of power between platformers and individuals

And what is unconvincing is that Google gets advertising revenue despite the fact that this kind of untrue word-of-mouth is left unchecked.

While Google earns advertising revenues, word of mouth that is not true can lead to a drop in sales or, in the worst case, to the closure of the business, creating an imbalance of power between the individual and the platform.

As well as reports on fraudulent advertising on Meta, shouldn’t platform operators take some responsibility for the content delivered via their own platforms?

This case is a complaint about word of mouth that has no basis in fact, but it is also a useful function to identify shops and hospitals that are actually good or not good.

Content should be delivered with a certain degree of impartiality and objective information, and if there are doubts about information between the platform and the individual, the platform as the distributor should take the lead in resolving the issue responsibly.

Of course, freedom of speech should be guaranteed.

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