Real estate agents sue Google for links to stories about them

Real estate agents Mark Forytarz and Paul Castran of Castran Gilbert in Victoria Australia have filed a defamation lawsuit against Google. The two agents said that they asked Google to remove allegedly defaming links to articles about them, but that Google did not take any action.
The plaintiffs claim the articles suggest Mr Forytarz bullied an intellectually disabled man into selling his home in order to claim a commission of at least $200,000.

It is claimed the article paints Mr Forytarz as unscrupulous and unethical and he suffered distress embarrassment and humiliation as a result.

They also claim another article alleges Mr Castran used dummy bidders to inflate the prices of the properties he sold.



  1. Hmmm. The ‘defamatory’ article just makes him sound like a very high-powered salesperson. He might be an asshole, but in that business, this is probably good advertising rather than character assassination.

  2. Since BoingBoing posted the same thing, and there are articles appearing about the articles, maybe they should sue BoingBoing and the whole dang Internet!

  3. I would say that the sheer stupidity of suing a search engine for linking to an article merely adds credibility to the article itself.

  4. I’m going to write a scathing, defamatory article about myself, and then sue everyone who links to it.

    Just watch: this will be the revenue model of Web 3.0.

  5. What were those names again? Mark Forytarz and Paul Castran? Oh yes, it was Mark Forytarz and Paul Castran. Thanks Mark; thanks Paul.

  6. Didn’t LaughingSquid have something like this happen awhile back regarding a Best Buy parody? If sites can’t be sued for linking to pirated movies and music as long as they aren’t the ones sharing, how can something like this be construed as legitimate libel?

  7. Too bad Shakespeare never met a real estate agent or I’m sure we’d have a play describing their ilk.

    One of the vilest forms of life on the planet and in love with themselves to boot!

  8. I was a realtor for a couple of miserable years and I have to say that many of the clients that I met were much worse than the realtors. The now-deflated housing bubble turned regular people into the greediest assholes you never hoped to meet. “O hai. I’m a first-time buyer, I have two bankruptcies, my FICO is 390, I need a 115% loan and I want you to make me at least a quarter million in two years. And by the way, I need you to study this book that I read so that we’re on the same page. Where are you taking me to lunch?”

  9. Wouldn’t it just be easier to sue the people who WROTE the article.

    /Oh, right. They don’t have any money because you (allegedly) screwed them of it all.

  10. vert @8 you are a genious. i think we need to explore this. we’ll start a company called “i.slan.der” that basically will automatically write a libelous article about you and set up links all over the place to get a decent google page rank. but the revenue model is not from the customers. its from lawyers who sign up to get the customer information of the idiots suing. the lawyers get $$$ regardless and that way you don’t actually have to WIN the suit!

  11. Martin Sheen said it best:

    Go produce something with your life, create, don’t live off the buying and selling of others – Wall Street

    Man I have no respect for Real Estate Agents and/or Stock Brokers.

  12. Well quoted and well put, Mr. Wong. We need to bring back the concept of shame, and apply it to those industries which are so successful but which are so reprehensible to those with any sense of a moral compass.

    Good parents everywhere: don’t let your babies be realtors or stock brokers. Or health insurance execs. Or credit card execs.

  13. I’m assuming that you don’t have credit cards, or insurance, or live in a building that you didn’t build with your own hands, or do any business with publicly traded companies? Because that would be fraternizing with the enemy which would be so reprehensible to those with any sense of a moral compass.

  14. Aluxeterna: I was going to comment that you made me picture “Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be lawyers” when I decided to check the lyrics, and found the actual lyrics were:

    “Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
    Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
    Make ’em be doctors and lawyers and such”

  15. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Sue the guys who keep lots of lawyers on staff, with a suit that they have to defend because it strikes at the core of their business.

    I wonder if they’ve already had a suit against the Web site that actually has the relevant articles thrown out of court.

  16. Interestingly the author of the article (Neil Jenman) in question is in Australia and has invited Castran Gilbert to sue him so he can expand on the matter in court and defend himself with the facts. They have not. Instead they went for a third party.

    For further info:

    Newspaper coverage:

    The article itself:

  17. reading the story in more detail does make one wish for the opportunity to meet these real estate agents face to face. At least for a few minutes anyway.

    1. i have met mark and paul, i worked for them breifly. the two men are extremely caring and genuine, they are two of the best agents in the inner south east of melbourne. whilst at the agency everyone was incredibly nice to me, offering plenty of career advice and help. i find it hillarious that people are sitting at their computers finding ways to stereotype the real estate industry and how people that don’t know mark and paul are creating bad press for them.

  18. In NYC, the RENTAL brokers, not to mention sales brokers (you usually buy stock in the corporation of the building = “coop” and the busybody residents on the board of directors get to strip search you after checking your high school detention records etc. and then need give you *no* reason why you were rejected…such as for being a lawyer who might know his rights?…then charge you MORE than what the rent on your place would be for “maintenance fees” each month)…THEY HOARD THEIR LISTING INFORMATION ON NON-PUBLICIZED INTERNAL COMPUTER NETWORKS, shared between brokerage firms for normal (half million dollar) close-sized spaces, but coveted by single firms for the multi-million dollar stuff that usually sells to rich foreigners or their kids.

    And of course, first they show you rat poop filled apartments #1-3 before you get to see any real ones, by which time they hold “open houses” so to create panic buying frenzy as you stand around whispering to your mate so the twenty other couples there can’t hear you.

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