The controversial site France-Soir dismissed by justice in its complaint against Google

In September 2021, Google had cut off this site’s access to its advertising network, thus depriving it of part of its income.

The Paris commercial court dismissed the France-Soir site, which accused Google of having cut off advertising and no longer referencing it in its news service because of content violating its rules.

Shopper Union, the publisher of the France-Soir site, lost on all its claims and was ordered to pay 70,000 euros to Google, in respect of the costs incurred by the American group for its defense, according to a judgment rendered on September 6, to which AFP had access on Wednesday.

In September 2021, Google had cut off this site’s access to its advertising network, thus depriving it of part of its income. This cut occurred a few days after the broadcast of a report on France 2 entitled “Fake News, the money machine“. A few months earlier, Google had already delisted France-Soir from its Google News service and suspended its YouTube channel.

Conspiratorial content

The court found that Google was within its rights, Shopper Union having clearly violated the rules of use of the three services concerned by disseminating conspiratorial content on the Covid-19.

Google’s rules clearly prohibit, in the field of health, “articles and videos from online news sites that are contrary to medical consensus, recommendations from national health authorities and the WHO” or affirming that the vaccines authorized in France are “dangerous for your health” and “alternative treatments exist“, underlined the court.

The latter rejected the argument of freedom of expression raised by Shopper Union. “A publisher’s right to freedom of speech is not superior to a platform’s right to freedom to make rules” to ensure “the image» and the «qualityof his service, as well as theconformity to its purpose“, according to the court.

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