Mid-day Update

Report: Google’s search results protected under First Amendment

Jeremy Hobson and Stacey Vanek Smith May 11, 2012

Ever feel like the results of your Internet searches are skewed? Well, according to a new report commissioned by Google, the search giant has every right to pick and choose the results it wants to display. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh wrote the report, and he says selective searches are free speech protected under the First Amendment.

“The First Amendment protects the right of everyone to communicate the facts and opinions that they think are worth communicating. They could try to be objective. They could prefer those views that they think are better. They could have a mix of those things. More importantly, in a sense, it’s not up to the government to decide what kind of communications are fair and objective and what kind of communications are skewed,” says Volokh.

“Search engines actually believe that their expression is fair and objective — even when their is some preference given to the search results that they themselves provide,” he says.

In today’s Mid-day Extra Professor Volokh discusses the report and responds to critics who say that Google’s search practices undermine its competition.

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