back to article Aussie bloke wins right to sue Google over 'underworld' images

An Australian has won permission to sue Google for defamation over search results that he alleges link him to the country's criminal underworld. Milorad "Michael" Trkulja has convinced the Australian High Court that he should be allowed to sue Google for allegedly publishing photos that he has claimed "convey imputations that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I may be mistaken but...

    Umm, those dodgy hitman auto fill suggestions don't appear for me, am I off the mark by suspecting they are determined by the user's prior search history or are they set by Google?

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    Might depend which Google you're using.

  3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    I'd been led to understand that the autofill options are driven by trends in what people are searching for. For s**ts and giggles, people set up automated processes to perform thousands of searches on some really bizarre phrase, and then that becomes a more popular autofill suggestion.

  4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Re: Aladdin

    Yeah, seems to have been fixed already by Google...

  5. Tikimon Silver badge

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    Don't forget that you're being Bubbled, your search results limited and skewed based on your "personalization". Google arrogantly assumes it knows what you REALLY meant, no matter what you asked for. You never see the same Google as anyone else, your search results will never match theirs. Sometimes you won't see what you wanted at all because it didn't fit Big brother's profiling. Then they insert hits for sites that paid to pollute your search results.

    Which is why I use Duckduckgo instead. I get clean, un-twiddled results based solely on my exact search terms. What a concept!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    "Which is why I use Duckduckgo instead. I get clean, un-twiddled results based solely on my exact search terms. What a concept!"

    My question is a little off topic but has DuckDuckGo always been on an Amazon server or is this something new?

    (Nothing wrong if it is, I'm just curious.)

  7. ds6

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    They've switched services a few times IIRC. But honestly, with some of the information that has come out about the leadership in DDG, I tend to just use searx.

    My own instance behind a myriad of vpn servers, of course.

  8. TheVogon Silver badge

    Re: I may be mistaken but...

    "The liability of a search engine proprietor, like Google, may well turn more on whether the search engine proprietor is able to bring itself within the defence of innocent dissemination"

    At least until he told them about it and asked them to remove it presumably ?

  9. TheVogon Silver badge

    Re: Aladdin

    "Yeah, seems to have been fixed already by Google..."

    At least until it indexes this article anyway!

  10. Gordon Pryra


    Was he a hitman?

  11. Twanky

    Re: But

    *If* he was it's probably not a good idea to annoy him...

  12. el kabong

    Maybe he was...

    and he wants to erase his past. Now we'll never know, google can't help.

  13. Tikimon Silver badge

    Re: But

    "Was he a hitman?"

    He wasn't a hit in the UK but he made it big in Japan.

  14. TReko

    Re: But

    Australian libel law is odd. It does not care if the allegation is true, rather whether it damaged the person's perceived character.

  15. southen bastard

    Re: But

    It's true Australian law has nothing to do with truth or justus. It was written by criminals and fraudsters then omendedd to suit Aussie conditions

    And yes he was, to old and fat now

  16. ProperDave

    Autocomplete on a name

    If I type my name into autocomplete, I get hundreds of different people that I share my name with. I don't even show anywhere near the top of any search results as there's apparently a US Senator with my name. I probably do have a namesake who's in jail somewhere, but that wouldn't negatively impact me as they aren't me, and anyone basing an assumption on an inferior Google Search shouldn't be allowed on the Internet.

    Of course, he'll now be known as the man who sued Google to soothe his egomania. So I'd assume his next move will be suing for the right to be forgotten.

  17. Gordon Pryra

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    Your name is Dave though.....

  18. ProperDave

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    True, but perhaps I should stress my surname isn't a common one. :)

    ... or perhaps is on a global scale, given how many more of me there are in the world.

  19. Lyndon Hills 1

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    indeed. The 'I feel lucky' result from my search went to an article in The Guardian about this court case. Might well be different if I was using google in Australia tho.

  20. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Re: ProperDave


    Hello Dave?

    Is Dave there?

    Damn, no Papa Lazarou icon...

  21. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    Google search also gives different results depending on what you have searched for in the past. When I entered Dave I get

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: ProperDave

    Wouldn't matter anyway!

    You're MY wife now!!!!

  23. onefang

    Re: ProperDave

    Dave's not home.

  24. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    I have to type almost my complete name before I see myself. Once I have my surname complete, mostly I see myself and pianist Marilyn Nonken.

    AFAICT my name is unique.

    Apparently my wife's name is also unique, both maiden and married names.

    And my daughters... well. My surname is VERY unusual.

  25. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    Google search also gives different results depending on what you have searched for in the past.

    Hah, Google doesn't. The last thing I searched for were the papers for one of my motorbikes, and before that a bad connection in my incoming VDSL cabling. Google knew of neither.

  26. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: ProperDave


    Hello Dave?

    Is Dave there?

    "Dave's not here man."....

  27. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    Mine on the other hand returns me in the top 10... there isn't that many of us as it turns out. Sgt_oddball links to me too but you've got to dig for that one.

    I'm just disappointed in no longer the foremost expert on sods law......

  28. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Re: Autocomplete on a name

    Let me guess...

    You asked Google to search for your name & Google replied "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."?

  29. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

    Re: ProperDave

    "Whatca, Dave"

    "My name's not Dave, it's Rodney"

    "What's Dave then: a nickname?"

    "No: you're the only one who calls me Dave!"

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on

    just did a Google image search for my real name.

    Comes up with all sorts of people IT guys, doctors, and yes a criminal.

    If you overlook the fact that some are tall, short, grey haired, bald, black or white skinned maybe I should sue google because someone may mistake someone with a different skin colour in a different country, and a criminal past(or at leas allegation) to be me. And despite all that we share the same first and last name.

    I would guess there are very few people in the world with a totally unique name and any kind of aggregation is going to result in a few people having a "wrong-un" in the list.

    even the terminator didn't find the right Sarah Connor first time!

    He may be entitled to sue, but as far as I can see he has zero chance of having any kind of success.

  31. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Re: Hold on

    And if his case gets thrown out?

    He'll be back?

  32. Steve Button

    Re: Hold on


    Your real name is not Anonymous Coward?

    You are one of the busiest people on this blog and they don't make you use your real name?


  33. aks

    Re: Hold on

    But the article says that Google has to pay the costs anyway, so he can presumably hire the most expensive lawers in Australia at no cost to himself. Nice one.

  34. ShelLuser


    "maybe I should sue google because someone may mistake someone with a different skin colour in a different country"

    And what about the websites which actually published all that material?

    That's the part I don't get: they want to sue Google over this,but all Google does is direct you to sites which actually published the material. So, uhm, don't shoot the messenger?

  35. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

    Re: Hold on

    [shouty] I am Anonymous Coward [/shouty]

  36. southen bastard

    Re: Hold on

    He's an aboriginal the Australian public pay for everything all the time

  37. Lt.Kije

    Given airport security's penchant for finering the entirely wrong person, and face identification systems inability to identify a face in a crowd and the plod's readiness to rely on these tools our chap would do us all a favour by succeeding.

  38. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Ick - googled myself and had a shufty at the images - only two pictures was of myself - and the rest... some was pictures which I've posted yonkers ago and is now on some other servers (which made me go WTF) and the rest is of people I don't even know.

    HTF did google got a screenshot of my OS/2 Warp 3 desktop? o_O (did not display when safesearch was ON, but with safesearch OFF...)


  39. onefang

    "only two pictures was of myself - and the rest"

    Only one is me, and it's a cartoon. One is of a USA astronaut, several are women, a palm tree, a small child from a couple of centuries ago, an exhaust pipe, a blue square, and a cat.

  40. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    ...only two pictures was of myself - and the rest

    None of myself. Several of a young, good looking Australian actor. I like this arrangement!

  41. DiViDeD Silver badge

    "only two pictures was of myself"

    Ha! Got you beat, Not a single picture of me, even after several 'Show More' clicks. Fear Me! I am invisible to teh interwebs!

    And no, my full name is not particularly common. I started getting pictures of ducks and cars after a while for some reason, though.

  42. Swarthy Silver badge

    Your are Ford Prefect, and I claim my five quid!

  43. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    I checked the lot... I've not found one of me but lots of memes around a university challenge contestant and a local chef (plus a lot of Canadians stood around in forests weirdly.. not a mountie in sight though.)...

    I might have been struggling to sleep last night.

  44. Multivac

    Maybe I'll sue too

    Google keeps associating me with some account on pornhub..... oh, hang on..... forget that.....

  45. GlenP

    Can I sue?

    Google my name and nearly all the images are of steam locos. Can I sue on the grounds this makes me appear to be a sad git (even if I am one)?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Can I sue?

    >Google my name and nearly all the images are of steam locos.

    Your parents named you British Rail Class 108, blame them, not Google.

  47. RedCardinal

    Re: Can I sue?

    Well Mr Scotsman...

  48. eldakka Silver badge

    Re: Can I sue?

    At least they didn't name him

    ;DROP TABLE staff;

    or similar.


  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I put my name in Google, lots of rich people come up but I'm not one of them.

    Can I sue Google so I become one of them ?

  50. JJKing
    Thumb Up

    What a fun game this can be.

    I just googled my image and discovered that I am pretty good at ice hockey, baseball and I work at Google but best of all, I have hair on my head. Why do the cameras all lie when my photo gets taken.

    PS. I didn't particularly like my mugshot.


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