Google Bomb: The Untold Story of the $11.3 M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet
by: John W. Dozier and Sue Scheff
Published by: Health Communications, Inc.
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Reviewed by Paul Markowitz
Sue Scheff’s tale begins with the not uncommon story of a concerned parent whose tragic experience leads her to become a well-known and respected expert and spokesperson in a niche field. Specifically, she rescues her at-risk child from a dangerous and unhealthy rehab facility, and in the process she quickly finds herself a self-taught expert on these situations with a popular website and organization to support this cause.
This is when her personal success story takes a very dark turn. When she refuses to divulge to a parent some private and protected information about someone else’s underage child at a particular rehab facility, she quickly develops the enmity of the spurned parent. This enmity almost immediately becomes an obsession that takes the form of an incessant cyber attack of the most vitriolic nature that questions her integrity in a very tight-knit community where reputation is essential. In very short order, Scheff becomes personally and professionally isolated.
The rest of the story revolves around how she ultimately finds John Dozier, a legal expert in Internet law, who wins a large but apparently uncollected judgment against her assailant. In the process she also retains the assistance of an expert who helps her belatedly ward off the “Google Bomb” attack on her person.
The Google Bomb in this case was a successful attempt by Scheff’s enemy, to have a Google search of Sue Scheff and her organization, list with the highest priority the most profane attacks upon her.
Although the tale of Sue Scheff is an intriguing one, there are some items that the reader should be aware. The book is an interweaving of Sue Scheff’s cautionary tale about her experience with the decidedly more legalistic and cyber-focused explanations of her Internet lawyer. Where Sheff’s descriptions tend toward the hyperbolic, as evidenced by her book’s subtitle, Dozier’s contributions are informative but rather dry in comparison.
Despite these concerns, this is a fascinating case with the added benefit of the wise precautions of a legal Internet expert in a field that is becoming unfortunately all too necessary.
Author’s Web site: http://www.SueScheff.com
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