Artist-turned-conspiracy theorist Uri Dowbenko filed a defamation lawsuit against Google. His chances of winning the case: pretty much nil. The E.Q. (entertainment quotient) of the lawsuit: very high.
First, A Little About Uri
When Uri Dowbenko entered the world 61 years ago, it’s doubtful his parents thought their son would become one of the more colorful conspiracy theorists in the world. But alas, such was the destiny of little Uri.
Unafraid to take up for the outrageous, Mr. Dowbenko is both a believer in the “New Reptilian World Order” and progenitor of the “Pat Robertson is an undercover Satanist” theory.
But Dowbenko is also an artist. And he’s even had some success around the South Beach area in the past. Lately, however, the art world has seemed to turn its back on Uri. And according to him, it’s all because of a website called “Encyclopedia of American Loons”.
The Website Uri Says Is Causing Him Reputation Harm and By Extension Financial Hardship
A free blog set up on Google’s Blogger platform, the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” is a satirical site highlighting the, shall we say, more fringe-thinkers among us. The anonymous editors of the encyclopedia chose Dowbenko as entry # 111.
Clearly not impressed with Dowbenko’s scientific vigor, the Encyclopedia of American Loons deemed Uri to be a “batshit insane tinfoilhatter, who is lacking any capacity to rationally evaluate science.” But, they also added the artist is “probably harmless, though, and rather entertaining.”
Dowbenko is Ostensibly Letting Money Guide His Way in This Defamation Lawsuit
According to Uri, one day he had an “epiphany” and realized his falling art star had everything to do with the Blogger-based encyclopedia. His prolific writings on various [ah-hem] issues were not to blame. Of course not!
Despite American Loons’ low SERP rank, Dowbenko ignored the Streisand effect and took action. He wasn’t, however, interested in suing the authors of the blog. Oh no, Uri decided Google was to blame. In fact, he believes Google is purposefully and intentionally manipulating the #1 search engine in the world in an effort to ruin his reptilian-human- hybrid-believing reputation.
Is There Any Possible Way Dowbenko Can Win This Online Defamation Lawsuit?
Can Uri win? In a word: no. Now, of course some legal oddity or administrative mess up could result in a win for Uri. Never say never, right? But 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.