The New York Times reports Google was not held responsible for defamatory comments shown in Google searches about a British company, Metropolitan International Schools, because the comments did not originate with Google.
The decision is similar to the DMCA’s safe harbor provision for on-line service providers (like Google– or WordPress). The DMCA shelters service providers from liability caused by the copyright infringing activities of visitors to their sites.
Increasingly, in America it is believed that service providers should not be held responsible for the conduct of visitors to their site. Clearly the same is true in Britain.