George Defteros in 2005 (Image: AAP/Joe Mann)

If Australia isn’t careful, Google will just delete us. It has that power. The tech monolith has been having a bad time lately with us, which may or may not have a symbolic attachment to Google’s decision in 2018 to remove the words “don’t be evil” from its corporate code of conduct.

It was bad enough that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had decided to staple himself to the desires of Rupert Murdoch and announce that Google will be forced to start paying the media companies for the content it hoovers from the internet and repackages as search results. Google has not responded favourably to this idea.

Another blow fell last week in the Supreme Court of Victoria, when a judge handed down a decision that extends the reach of defamation law way further into the search engine’s bowels than had previously been thought possible.