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Japanese Doctors Seek Damages from Google Over 'Groundless' Reviews

Japanese doctors file civil lawsuit against Google over negative reviews. Doctors demand damages for unpoliced derogatory and false comments. Google claims to be working to reduce misleading information on its platform.

A group of Japanese doctors has taken legal action against Google, filing a civil lawsuit in Tokyo District Court. The doctors are demanding damages for what they claim are unpoliced derogatory and often false comments posted on Google Maps, a popular app in Japan.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, seeks 1.4 million yen ($9,400) in damages for 63 medical professionals who have been affected by negative reviews. The doctors argue that these reviews are not only groundless but also damaging to their professional reputation.

In response to the lawsuit, Google issued a statement on Friday, stating that they are actively working to combat misleading or false information on their platform. They claim to be using a combination of human and technological resources to delete fraudulent reviews.

The doctors argue that the negative reviews posted on Google Maps are often irresponsible and appear to be written out of spite. They claim that these reviews can have a significant impact on their practice, as the "word of mouth" remarks take on a life of their own and are difficult to refute.

According to Yuichi Nakazawa, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, Google has done very little to address the issue despite receiving complaints. The doctors believe that Google should take responsibility for the damage caused by these reviews.

In Japan, online reviews play a significant role in people's decision-making process, especially when it comes to healthcare. Many individuals rely on the opinions of others to gauge the quality of hospitals and the level of care provided. However, the doctors argue that these online comments can be inaccurate and even detrimental to healthcare outcomes.

Japan has a well-established and affordable healthcare system, making the medical sector a crucial topic in a rapidly aging society. The doctors hope that this lawsuit will shed light on the potential dangers of Google's technology and the need for better regulation of online reviews.

While class actions are relatively rare in Japan, Google has faced legal challenges in the United States and other countries for various issues, including misleading advertising and privacy violations. Earlier this month, Google agreed to delete billions of records containing personal information as part of a settlement in a US lawsuit accusing the company of illegal surveillance.

The damages sought by the Japanese doctors are symbolic, amounting to approximately 23,000 yen ($150) per plaintiff. The lawsuit aims to draw attention to the impact of false and damaging reviews on professionals in the medical field.

  • Japanese doctors file civil lawsuit against Google over negative reviews

  • Doctors demand damages for unpoliced derogatory and false comments

  • Google claims to be working to reduce misleading information on its platform


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