Google and Twitter are not responsible for fake ads Jort Kelder, but the provision of data

The fact that Google et al. acts as an Internet platform to bring publishers and advertisers together and to distribute and display these ads through GDN, Google et al. This requires additional circumstances, consisting of Google et al.s own guilty act or omission

GDN is a platform for publishers offering online advertising space and advertisers looking to advertise online. In addition, Google et al. Publishers and advertisers have various options, including the option of responsive ads (where the ad is created by an automated tool from Google et al.) and the option of native ads, for the purpose of optimizing ads.

In particular, Jort Kelder claims that the mere offer of the possibility of responsive ads and native ads from Google is illegal because this creates the risk of ads appearing that may be misleading. The court does not follow him in this:

It can not be considered that the provision of such services is illegal as such. Only the use of the design options provided by Google and others. after all, does not in itself lead to an ad being misleading. Whether an ad is misleading depends primarily on the content of the ad. Google cs has no involvement in this content. To the extent that the Vladimir Foundation and others means that the risk of a misleading advertisement appearing together with the advertising services offered is increased, this is insufficient because it has not been shown that this risk is unacceptably increased.

There are no further circumstances either. Bitcoin ads with their sensational text can, according to the court, be considered as so-called clickbait ads, which are also banned. However, Google has explained sufficiently “that it takes measures to enforce its policy to block bitcoin advertisements, such as proactive and reactive automated detection methods based on machine learning techniques and human controls, but that blocking or removing all (potentially) misleading bitcoin advertisements without prior notice is practically impossible† It is difficult to filter everything from. In addition, the bitcoin ads used cloaking. Jort Kelder only stated that Google should do more, without doing this specifically.

Measures taken by Google are also effective to some extent. The number of ads has (become) much smaller. and ‘[t]When Google was confronted with this type of bitcoin advertising, it also adapted its working method to be able to act more effectively ‘† Google can not be required to manually check every ad, also because, according to the court, this would be equivalent to a general filtering order.

That the ads do not always contain an explicit statement ‘advertising’ makes no difference. In general, it can not be stated that Google et al. acts illegally if an ad from an advertiser does not contain such an indication. The question of whether an advertisement is, after all, misleading depends on the specific circumstances of the case and is often decided by the advertiser’s choice. In many cases, advertisements will contain a trademark or logo and / or will promote a product or service and may therefore already be recognizable as such. On the other hand, an ad can also be misleading with the mention of the word “advertising”. Google et al have pointed out in this connection that in its terms and conditions it has stipulated that it is prohibited for advertisers to place misleading ads. All in all, it can not be established that Google et al. falls short in relation to taking action on this point.

And if an internet user clicks on such a misleading ad, according to the court, the chances are not so great that damage will occur. It is a step-by-step process: the Internet user must have clicked on the ad, which redirects (whether it happens via multiple steps) to a pre-landing page, which then redirects to the correct landing page about bitcoin investments. Only after leaving data, the internet user is called back about this and is asked to invest a lot of money in bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Only then, when an investment is made, does the internet user lose his money. This can lead to huge damage to the relevant internet user, but any damage does not occur directly with and by placing such an ad.

Google must provide data

Google is doomed to provide certain data. These have been put forward in order to determine the damage that Jort Kelder wants to recover from Google and to obtain identification data for the advertisers who placed the bitcoin ads.

Because his name and portrait are used, the court is of the opinion that he has a real interest in being able to sue the people behind the ads. The court therefore obliges Google to provide Jort Kelder with the data it has from the advertisers of the fake ads. The requirement to also oblige Twitter to disclose this data is rejected, in part because the requirement is not sufficiently explained to enable a proper assessment of the various interests involved in disclosing identification data.

Joost Becker, Internet Law Attorney

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