Hearsays about the private life of the wife of the former German president spread throughout Google resulting to the former first lady opting for a court battle against the search company.
Words like “red light district” and “prostitute” appear as search entries when one types “Bettina Wulff” in Google search box. The ex-
president’s wife strongly denies any association to working as an escort service before.
Bettina Wulff claims that the search giant’s autocomplete function is helping spread the rumors that she was once a prostitute.
Google defended its side by saying that the search entries are auto-generated and only reflects what others have been searching already.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, reported before that the former first lady had agreed to give a sworn statement declaring that she had no ties to prostitution or escort marriage before marrying the president.
Several media outlets have eagerly picked up the issue spreading the hearsays not just online. Many would consider her marriage to former president Christian Wulff as the culprit. The move was said to be initiated so as to derail her husband’s political career.
Mrs Wulff has been fighting allegations that she was employed as an escort before for over two years now.
Another newspaper, the Der Spiegel, reported that Mrs Wulff’s lawyers already circulated cease-and-desist court orders against targeted personalities and organizations. The paper also mentioned the defamation suit against Google.
Google’s Kay Oberbeck said the search results were “algorithmically generated” and Google’s system take into consideration the popularity of the terms being searched.
“All terms that appear have been previously entered by Google users,” he said.
Google’s rival, Bing, also show similar search results.
Christian Wulff has retired from his post early this year while Bettina, 38, is working to fix her damaged reputation by getting help from courts to close the issue.
A similar case made headlines in Japan early this year when a man accused Google of associating him to crimes he did not commit when someone searched his name. Google discontinued its autocomplete function in the country after the incident.