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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is seen on the Google house at CES 2024, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2024. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

International

Japanese doctor file a lawsuit against Google due to unfavorable evaluations on their map app

A group of Japanese medical professionals have initiated legal action against Google, alleging that they have received unfavorable reviews on the Google Maps application, as reported by the Japan Times.

Among the 63 medical professionals, which consist of dentists, general practitioners, and veterinarians, they assert that these evaluations frequently exhibit a single perspective and are often submitted anonymously.

Consequently, these reviews can create an unfavorable image of their practices, potentially discouraging patients from seeking their services.

A lawsuit was filed at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday, requesting a compensation of ¥1.45 million (approximately $9,400) from Google.

Each individual doctor is claiming ¥23,000 in damages, resulting in a collective total of ¥1,450,000.

According to Yuichi Nakazawa, a lawyer involved in the case, the primary objective of the lawsuit is not financial gain, but rather to increase public understanding of the numerous issues plaguing the Google Maps platform.

One of the doctors clarified, “It’s essential to understand that my intention behind removing negative reviews isn’t to eliminate criticism, but rather to maintain a fair and constructive environment.”

The primary complainant referred to healthcare facilities as “one-sided punching bags.” Contrary to other industries, patients primarily rely on national healthcare coverage for treatment costs.

Consequently, medical professionals cannot fulfill all patient requests, such as prescribing unneeded medications or conducting unnecessary tests. They must decline these demands, but this can lead to unfavorable online reviews, like those on Google Maps.

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