Dear Larry and Sergey,
I hope that mock-newspaper got your attention.
I am using this Google-operated blog to address you because I have not gotten a response to an email and phone call to your press relations people.
As you can see, since I use Blogger.com, I am a customer of yours. I actually operate seven other Blogger blogs. I also write books, and have written articles for newspapers and magazines.
Since Friday, I have been the victim of a widespread, skillful and entirely fraudulent online attack using multiple websites, mass-messaging, and a Blogger blog. That blog includes defamation, harassment, libel, lies and even copyright violation. At least one believer wants me killed!
When I tried to file an "abuse" complaint, I learned that you'll remove a blog only if I provide a court order.
You say that "Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints. We realize this may be frustrating, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you."
And: "We do not remove allegedly defamatory content from www.google.com or any other U.S. dot com domains."
And: "The language of Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act fundamentally states that Internet services like Google.com, Blogger and many of Google’s other services are republishers and not the publisher of that content. Therefore, these sites are not held liable for any allegedly defamatory, offensive or harassing content published on the site."
And: "US domain sites such as Google.com, Blogger, Page Creator, etc. are sites regulated only by U.S. law. Given this fact, and pursuant to Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, we do not remove allegedly defamatory material from U.S. domains. The only exception to this rule is if the material has been found to be defamatory by a court, as evidenced by a court order."
I went to court yesterday. I found that I could not simply sit down with a friendly judge, get him or her to sign an order, and FedEx it to you.
Instead, I have to pay $250 to file a lawsuit, and if I win the trial at some indefinite time in the future, then maybe I can get a court order.
Well, guys, one of your other Blogger.com customers is making my life miserable every hour of the day. My neighbors have been warned not to let their children near me. At least one person has publicly stated that she wants me killed. A teenage boy was questioned by police after leaving my house. My wife is terrified and depressed. My business is suffering. I can't wait weeks or months for a trial with an indefinite outcome.
Therefore, I am preparing for a trial in the media preceding the trial in the courtroom.
- If you won't help me by stopping the publication of lies and providing the police with the identity of my attacker, I will fight back in the best way I know.
Google is under fire around the world. You have gone from being a gentle giant to being the evil empire. There are nearly 80,000 links for the phrase "Google sued" and 136,000 links for "Google was sued" -- on Google!
Some of those suits seem trivial, resulting from perceived damages caused by your allegedly providing improper travel directions.
BUT, imagine the reaction of your customers, shareholders, government regulators and the public to a headline that says, "Google sued for refusing to remove blog falsely accusing man of dog raping and wife burning."
Please get in touch soon so we can work this out. I need your help, and so do the police.
ADDENDUM: Today's New York Times has a report about Google appeasing and placating the censors in China by no longer directing Chinese web users to Google's uncensored Hong Kong service. It's distrubing that Google cares more about its business in China, than about victims of its American bloggers.