School’s Google dispute escalates

School’s Google dispute escalates

On Thursday, it was reported that a Sydney school lodged a complaint to Google over its refusal to remove offensive images from its Google Earth program.

The images showed large phallic symbols which had been carved into the oval of Clancy Catholic College, located in West Hoxton in Sydney’s southwest.

The Sydney Catholic Archdiocese has now weighed in to the dispute between the school and the search engine giant, saying it had contacted Google to request that the images be immediately removed.

Dr Dan White, executive director of Sydney Catholic Schools, told The Educator that the school’s reputation risked being harmed should the issue continue to drag on.

“The school has an excellent reputation in the local area. Everyone there has worked hard to build this reputation and does not deserve to be treated in this way,” he said.

“The students, staff and parents are angry that their reasonable requests have been ignored. It is unfair that every time someone goes to the site, they see these highly offensive images.”

White added it was the Archdiocese’s expectation that Google would replace the images and demonstrate that it was “a good corporate citizen”.

When asked whether he knew of any moves by the school’s other stakeholders to address the issue, White said he was not aware of any such cases, but added he was keen to find out if other people have had an experience similar to this and what the outcome has been for them.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese has written to senior Google executives in Australia and the US in an attempt to have the matter escalated.

“We will not stop seeking a response from Google that would result in the offensive images being removed,” White said.

“I expect that Google would not be prepared to allow images such as those on the Clancy Google Earth page to be visible to every person each time they visited the Google search page.”

Should Google fail to respond, or decline to remove the images, White said the Archdiocese would consider “other possible strategies” to resolve the issue.