Eric Goldberg gives a summary of the final verdict in Langdon v. Google. He explains a court decision which implies how search engines do not have to display all of the ads.
Langdon is a griper. He sought to buy ads on the major search engines to advance his gripes, but Google allegedly rejected his ads because they attacked people, MSN allegedly ignored his ad request, and Yahoo allegedly said it would only take ads from sites it hosts. Langdon then sued all three pro se, requesting (among other relief) that the search engines be required to carry his ads.
The decision was definitely in favor of Google. According to Eric the following court ruling will help search engines in future rulings:
- Search engines have a First Amendment right to reject ads as part of their protected right to speak or not.
- Search engine decisions to reject ads is protected by 47 USC 230(c)(2) as a legitimate decision to filter "otherwise objectionable" content.
- Search engines aren't state actors and are not bound by the First Amendment, so they do not deprive advertisers (such as Langdon) of First Amendment rights by rejecting their advertising.