Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

What's More Embarrassing to Italian-Americans Than "Jersey Shore"? Um, That Would Be Italy (and Its Google Ruling).

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

Oh, there’s no question in the often paranoid mind of BoomTown that Google is one scary company, mostly due to its huge market share in search across the globe.

Check out this eye-popping chart below from a story in The Wall Street Journal today on this very subject, for example, if you care to share my wariness.

Thus, there is no doubt that the preliminary scrutiny over antitrust complaints the company is getting from the European Commission, which Google (GOOG) has forcefully denied, is not untoward, even if those complaints have been leveled by companies affiliated with archrival Microsoft (MSFT).

There will be more to come, of course, as Google’s growing power is targeted by those interested in stopping its growth–both those with pure motives and not-so-pure.

But no matter how you slice the monopolistic pie, Google most certainly did not deserve, nor should anyone tolerate, the conviction in Italy of three of its execs on privacy violations.

A judge in Milan said the trio had not complied with Italian law because they allowed a disparaging video of a boy with Down Syndrome being harassed by other teens to be posted on the company’s former Google Video site, even though it was quickly yanked,

An appeal is already in the works, which is a good thing since it’s hard to imagine how such a ruling will stand and how any company can police itself so stringently given the mass of user-generated content.

While every online company must have strict rules to prevent such abuses, this case is a little like blaming the telephone company if one gets an abusive call.


And while Google most certainly deserves some of the legal attention it is getting, this ruling should make every U.S. Internet firm–including Microsoft–scared not of Google’s frighteningly powerful search algorithm, but of Italy’s horrifyingly idiotic legal system.

Italian-Americans–of which I am one–or anyone else can gripe all they want about “The Situation.”

But–make no mistake–this is the real situation.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post