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. .
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 came 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 on the Covid-19
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 press sites contrary to medical consensus, to the recommendations of national health authorities and the WHO” or claiming that vaccines authorized in France are “dangerous to health” and that “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 expression is not superior to a platform’s right to freedom to lay down rules” to guarantee the “image” and “quality” of its service, as well as than “conformity to its purpose”, according to the court.