Fabio Coelho, head of Google’s operations in Brazil
A Brazilian judge ordered the arrest of the head of Google’s operations in Brazil for failure to remove YouTube videos that attacked a mayoral candidate.
The non-removal of the videos is something that runs counter to the South American nation’s strict pre-vote electoral laws. The judge also ordered a statewide, 24-hour suspension of Google and You Tube.
Google released a statement yesterday that dismissed the decision by Judge Flavio Peren of Mato Grosso do Sul state in which the judge had demanded the arrest of Fabio Coelho unless the offending videos were removed.
Google would also be appealing, while police said they had not received an order to arrest Coelho.
Google said in its statement:
Google is appealing against the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site.
Grievances over videos or images uploaded to its websites are not something Google is unfamiliar with – it frequently faces challenges worldwide, especially in the Middle East.
And Brazil is among the top sources of requests for content removal: this is the second time this month that an electoral court in Brazil has tried to arrest a top Google executive for not deleting YouTube videos attacking a mayoral candidate.
But another judge overturned that ruling a few days later.
For the period between July and December last year, Google received 194 requests from government officials in Brazil for removal of content,
Google’s Transparency Report claimed that 54 per cent of those requests were fully or partially complied with.
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