On 6 September 2022, the Commercial Court of Paris dismissed the claims made by Shopper Union – the publishing company of the France-Soir website – against Google, which had cut off the website from its advertising network, dereferenced it from its news service, and suspended its YouTube channel because of content that violated its rules.

In particular, Google had done so because France-Soir had disseminated conspiracy content related to COVID-19. The Court found that Google had rightfully excluded France-Soir from its services, as Google’s rules clearly prohibit, in the field of health, “articles and videos from online press sites contrary to the medical consensus, the recommendations of national health authorities and the WHO” or stating that vaccines authorized in France are “dangerous for health” and that “alternative treatments exist”, the court stressed.

The court rejected the freedom of expression argument raised by Shopper Union. “The right to freedom of expression of a publisher is not superior to the right to freedom of a platform to enact rules” to ensure “the image” and “quality” of its service, as well as “conformity with its purpose”, according to the court.

Shopper Union was ordered to pay 70,000 euros to Google for the defense costs it had incurred.

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