Google is a media company, not merely a search engine, and it should be afforded the same protection as any other media company under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to a recent report.
The report, written by Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor specializing in free speech, and David M. Falk, purports that although Google uses a computer algorithm it was still designed by engineers to place content and is no different than news aggregators such as the Drudge Report, according to PaidContent.
From the report:
Google, Microsoft's Bing, and Yahoo! Search exercise editorial judgment about what constitutes useful information . . . to their users. In this respect, they are analogous to newspapers and book publishers that convey a wide range of information from news stories and selected columns by outside contributors to stock listings, movie listings, bestseller lists and restaurant guides. And all of these speakers are shielded by the First Amendment, which blocks the government from dictating what is presented by the speakers or the manner in which it is presented.
The controversy is that the report was commissioned by Google to help fight any antitrust probe by the Federal Trade Commission or other government agency.regulating its results.