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Baidu Fined for Pornographic Pictures

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Baidu, China's most popular search engine, was accused of providing access to pornographic pictures of a woman and was fined, reported.

The Jing'an district People's Court in Shanghai made a judgment Friday to confirm that the search engine violated the rights of the girl's reputation and ordered it to cut off links with websites that contained her sexual photos and personal details.

Baidu was ordered to post a three-day declaration of apology and fined 22,000 yuan as damage and compensation for emotional distress.

The 26-year-old woman surnamed Yin, a former student of Shanghai Maritime University, found that her photos were illegally uploaded last year by her college boyfriend and reprinted by blogs, forums, and other web portals, who named it "maritime scandal".

Although her attorney published an announcement on Metro Express, a local newspaper, claiming the deletion of links involving wicked slander about Yin, the explicit pictures and personal details including name, age, phone number and address, remained there.

After being sued for invasion of privacy, Baidu defended itself, saying that the announcement in the newspaper was not in accordance with legal requirements.

Furthermore, as a search engine, it provided content retrieval that automatically generated links and didn't mean it intentionally published information that defamed others.

Nearly 200 staff members at the company were working on filtering the photos.

However, it couldn't guarantee a thorough elimination unless the third-party websites all stopped publishing.

(China Daily July 3, 2010)

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