Expert testimony reveals how Mary Cummins, of Animal Advocates and Cummins Real Estate Services, used her knowledge of search engine optimization techniques to defame Amanda Lollar of Bat World Sanctuary.
Eric Shupps, acting as expert witness regarding Internet technologies, stated the following to Mary Cummins during his testimony:
"So the -- the question, if I understand it is: Is there a shadowy person out there who happens to be monitoring your site, the Indybay site, the Raise the Fist site, the L.A. Animal Watch blog site, the Working to Help Animals Today and Tomorrow site, who is monitoring all of these sites and then who's going and taking material that is always negative to Bat World and always positive to Animal Advocates and Mary Cummins and going and posting all this material? The likelihood that there is an individual like that out there other than yourself, nil."
Below is an image that depicts how Mary Cummins "google bomb" was spread across the internet:
Mary Cummins google bomb distribution
After a four-day trial the court found that Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates, and Cummins Real Estate Services, had committed defamation against Amanda Lollar and had breached her internship contract with Bat World Sanctuary. The presiding judge also stated that Mary Cummins defamation of Ms. Lollar was "intentional, malicious, and egregious" and awarded Ms. Lollar $6.1M in damages.
Randy Turner, Ms. Lollar's attorney stated, "This judgment sends a powerful message to cyber-stalkers and others who use the internet to harass people or to harm their reputations. Innocent victims like Amanda Lollar often don't have the resources, expertise, or ability to defend themselves against such vicious internet attacks. Hopefully this judgment will make someone think twice before engaging in an internet smear campaign."