Lawfare Project wins historic breakthrough in fight against online hate as Google blocks antisemitic content in Spain
Press Release – For Immediate Release
July 23, 2019
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MADRID — The Lawfare Project has achieved a significant breakthrough in its efforts to block some of the worst examples of online Jew-hatred from Google search results in Spain. As a result of legal action taken last year by Spanish Jews, represented by The Lawfare Project, Google LLC has reached an understanding with our lawyers in Spain to block defamatory content, including material promoting Nazi ideology and denying the Holocaust that is scornful with the victims.
As a result of a mutual understanding with Google, Lawfare Project lawyers acting for Spanish Jewish claimants filed several take-down notices with Google LLC identifying content in its search results that included extreme and defamatory racism against the Jewish people. Google's lawyers examined the complaints and, subsequently, various examples of antisemitic content identified in the notices are now blocked from appearing in Google searches in Spain. This includes articles published by the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website promoting extreme racism against Jews and others.
To the best of the knowledge of the parties involved, this is the first time that Google has blocked illegal content against the Jewish people based on defamation complaints.
Google recently announced changes to its policies on racist and extremist content on YouTube, but those changes do not affect the appearance of extreme content in Google search engine results. The understanding with Google allows for the blocking of specific content from its search engine by filing detailed blocking notices, marking a turning point in the tech giant's approach to violent and defamatory antisemitic content.
The Lawfare Project's Spanish counsel, Ignacio Wenley Palacios, acting on behalf of the Spanish Jewish claimants, said:
"The cooperation with Google LLC has been instrumental in distilling from the case law of our Constitutional Court clear concepts of illegal content regarding Jews as a vulnerable minority and victims of the Holocaust that both uphold free speech to the utmost level allowed by the European Convention on Human Rights, while following the standards of the European Court of Justice. The company committed to examine under such criteria our blocking notices, blocking from search results links that led to such content. Acting on this commitment, new examples of extreme, racist content addressed to Jews have been blocked from Google Search."
Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said:
"For many, the road to antisemitic radicalization is through an online search result. It is unacceptable, immoral, and unlawful in Spain for online platforms to profit from extreme and violent propaganda against Jews. The Lawfare Project will continue to support such actions in Europe to get tech firms to clean up their act."
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The Lawfare Projectis a global network of legal professionals that contribute their skills, time, and expertise to defending the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and pro-Israel community, and fighting discrimination wherever they see it.