Mark Maughan is a certified public accountant with the Brown & Maughan firm in Palos Verdes, California. As per a local NBC story (reported at http://www.nbc4.tv/news/2937016/detail.html), Mr. Maughan did a Google search on his own name and found results that he did not like. “Specifically, the search results falsely represent that plaintiffs Maughan and/or Brown & Maughan have been disciplined for gross negligence, for failing to timely submit a client’s claim for refund of overpayment of taxes, and for practicing as a CPA without a permit”. He is not complaining about the accuracy of any of the links, but that Google “reformats information obtained from accurate sources, resulting in changing of the context in which information is presented”, and that PageRank “scans the source, but in doing so, it’s not a literal transmission. A literal transmission would be fine.” He is proposing class action status.
So, what is next? Someone gave one of my books a bad review on Amazon.com, but he did not read the entire book and so his comments were out of context, should I sue Amazon.com? And a whole bunch of Blog readers display just parts of RSS feeds and that information is therefore reformatted and out of context, so sue the reader creators? And I am sure I saw a “ColdFusion Sucks” thread somewhere, maybe there is a possible lawsuit against the list managers there too?
Does anyone else think it might be time to regulate the Internet? As in require that users be granted a license to get online, with degrees of access based on their competence, intelligence, and agendas? Hummmm.