With the First Amendment behind it, Google is now free to put search results in whatever order it wants, according to a recent ruling by a US court in San Francisco. The company has been fighting to earn this right for years, but it wasn't until last week that a judge in the Bay Area decided to grant the search giant such a thing, citing freedom of speech as the main influencer in the decision. It all started back when a site known as CoastNews filed a lawsuit arguing that Google was knowingly lowering its rankings in search results; the tech giant supposedly viewed it like a competitor and, thus, didn't want it to succeed. Shortly thereafter, Google quickly answered with an anti-SLAPP motion, which is often used by defendants to guard against litigation that would deter free speech.
Sure, this doesn't mean Google will be protected forever from other angry websites, here at home or elsewhere around the globe. But, should a similar lawsuit arise, it does allow the company to argue that a court has already agreed with it before.
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