Artist-cum-conspiracy theorist Uri Dowbenko once sued Google for defamation. His chances of winning the case: slim. The case’s E.Q. (entertainment quotient): sky-high. This is the story.
First, A Little About Uri
Dowbenko is also an artist who built a following around Miami.
Unafraid to represent the ostensibly outrageous, Mr. Dowbenko is also a believer (or at least was) in both the “New Reptilian World Order” and “Pat Robertson is an undercover Satanist” theories.
Around 2013, Ari’s art sales slipped. And according to him, the vicissitude involved a website, the Encyclopedia of American Loons.
Satirical Site Leads To Ruined Reputation?
A Blogger outlet, the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” is a satirical site about the, shall we say, more fringe-thinkers among us. Uri Dowbenko is entry # 111.
Skeptical of Dowbenko’s scientific vigor, the Encyclopedia of American Loons deemed him a “batshit insane tinfoilhatter, who is lacking any capacity to rationally evaluate science.” Not all negative, the website also dismissed Uri as “probably harmless” and praised him as “rather entertaining.”
Google Is To Blame For Professional Slump?
According to Uri, one day an epiphany slapped him on the head: The Loon Encyclopedia unfairly crushed his artistic standing! His prolific writings were not to blame!
Despite American Loons’ low SERP rank, Dowbenko ignored the Streisand effect and took action.
He wasn’t interested, however, in suing the authors of the blog. Instead, Uri decided Google was to blame. In fact, he believed Google purposefully and intentionally manipulated the #1 search engine in the world in an effort to ruin his reputation.
Dowbenko Once Sued Google For Defamation. Did He Win?
Did Uri win? No. A judge isn’t going to hold Google responsible for a third-party blog on Blogger. That is what Section 230 of the Communication’s Decency Act is for, to protect website portals from liability over user content.