After nearly a year locked in a legal fight with the tech giants, Red Wall heavyweight fighter Lee Anderson has finally walked away victorious after Google issued a formal High Court apology to the MP for serving a defamatory advert falsely accusing him of protecting a paedophile. An advert which was targeted at Guido readers…
It was bought via Google’s programmatic network and was unseen by our commercial representatives, nor indeed ourselves, until it popped up. Google has a near monopoly on this type of advertising, where publishers offload unsold advertising inventory to Google to fill. Scam adverts get through frequently, though this is the first time we have ever seen a defamatory attack via this method:
While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Google finally apologised in court. They also accepted that they should not have allowed this advert to appear. Guido would argue that they were negligent in allowing this advert to appear and they should be held liable for any damages arising in this situation. Guido argued before the case began that we should not be a party to it because we had no knowledge of the advert prior to it appearing in a space that Google had effectively rented and published to without our active involvement. We were akin to the paper supplier to a newspaper, not the printer or publisher. This settlement avoided the arguments being heard, though no doubt lawyers will study this for future cases.
Lee tells Guido that
“I am pleased that Google has publicly apologised in Court and put an end to this very difficult and distressing time for me and my family.
I do however think it is a real shame that it has taken so long for this to happen and that I had to get lawyers involved and threaten Google with legal action to get here.
I want to thank Guido for swiftly taking down this ad once they were made aware and for their ongoing support through a difficult time.”
M’learned friends can read and study the official Statement (Anderson v Google). We’re just glad that Lee fought and won justice in his battle against the trillion dollar plus Google behemoth…
Read Lee’s full statement below:
When the government proposed the Digital Services Tax, Rishi Sunak and other Treasury ministers emphasised that
“The Digital Services Tax will apply to a group’s businesses that provide a social media service, search engine or an online marketplace to UK users. These businesses will be liable to Digital Services Tax when the group’s worldwide revenues from these digital activities are more than £500 million and more than £25 million of these revenues are derived from UK users.”
They stressed to Parliament that British small businesses would be exempt, that only the big bad (American) tech behemoths would be liable, and that it would raise £2 billion from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook who would otherwise avoid being taxed. Guido pointed out that, in the end, people pay taxes. Ultimately, it’ll be the customers – us – who end up footing the bill.
This was meant in a theoretical sense; that costs would eventually be passed on, through raised prices, to maintain the same returns for the corporations. Amazon saw it in a practical sense and ruthlessly whacked it straight on to the bills of customers. British businesses, who rely on goods being shipped by Amazon, now have to fork out for the rise, with the government not getting a penny from Amazon – just their British customers. The message was clear: your government did this to you. Today, Google have emailed customers saying they will do likewise.
Neither Amazon nor Google are paying the tax, the small British businesses that ship goods on Amazon that they advertise via Google are getting clobbered by it. These businesses will have to put up prices to customers as a result. Thanks a lot Rishi…
A London-based Google advertising sales executive, Adriano Amaduzzi, boasted he had declined to respond to the Conservative Party while being filmed by an investigation by American investigative journalism organisation Project Veritas. Undercover footage revealed technical account manager Amaduzzi, boasted of ignoring requests to do business from the Conservative Party, because he was opposed to Brexit. Video footage revealed Amaduzzi saying:
“Funny enough about Brexit, I had a guy, linked to, me, for no reason –, I don’t know why, contacted me from LinkedIn and say: ‘Hi I’m head of digital infrastructure of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, we would like to do advertising with Google, could you help me with that?’ I was like—I didn’t answer”
“You’re telling an Italian that lives in London that you want to advertise Brexit. It’s like, seriously?”
Despite obvious Big Tech hostility the Tories went on to win an 80 seat majority. How much bigger would it have been had the tech giants not been hostile?
— Ian Sherwood (@ian_surewould) February 28, 2017
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the plumbing that makes a lot of the internet work, not just for Amazon but for a lot of other big companies – our daily Guidogram email didn’t go out last night because it relied on AWS. It was by one of those cosmic ironies also the day Amazon’s marketing people had decided to call “AWSome Day”. The above video is of a hapless Amazon booster discovering he can’t make his presentation about the brilliance of the AWS cloud because it was down. Even the geek’s website isitdownrightnow.com, used for checking if internet services are down, relied on AWS:
Rivals have not wasted any time, in Guido’s inbox this morning was an offer from Google Cloud Services:
AWS going down for a few hours reminded people that there is no such thing as “the cloud”. There are just other people’s computers…
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 15, 2016
During the referendum Remain campaigners made much of the importance of the “Digital Single Market”.
Yesterday we learnt that the world’s biggest digital firm doesn’t care about being in the “Digital Single Market” either. Google’s announcement of a £1 billion extra investment and 3,000 more jobs is a doubling of its bet on Britain to be the dominant digital nation in Europe, CEO Sundar Pichai cited Britain’s “open and connected economy”. It also signals that the “Digital Single Market” is not really attractive to them, it is really just a common regulatory zone. If we know the EU it will be an over-regulated, subsidy ridden, dirigiste failure.
*Kamal Ahmed’s BBC report of this is almost a #DespiteBrexit parody.
Google has delivered a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain by confirming it will establish a new headquarters in the UK, creating 3,000 news jobs investing and £1 billion in the UK economy. Chief executive Sundar Pichai tells the BBC:
“The UK has been a tremendous market for us. We see big opportunities here. This is a big commitment from us – we have some of the best talent in the world in the UK and to be able to build great products from here sets us up well for the long term.”
Remain supporting media are already reporting this is “despite Brexit”…