Google ordered to compensate Australian politician for defamatory YouTube videos

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by Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian court on Monday ordered Google to pay 715,000 Australian dollars ($515,000) to a former Australian lawmaker, saying a “racist, abusive, defamatory and defamatory” video produced by a YouTuber The company’s refusal to remove him distanced him from politics. ,

The Federal Court has found that Alphabet, which owns Google, intentionally attacked the then deputy prime minister of Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales by hosting two YouTube videos, which were recorded nearly 800,000 times since they were published in 2020. has been seen.

The decision revealed that Google denied videos containing allegations of defamation, saying that YouTubers were entitled to an honest opinion and should be protected from the right to criticize a politician.

A Google spokesperson was not available for comment.

Professor David Rolfe, a media law expert at the School of Law, said: “They (Google) were told these were defamatory videos, they analyzed it, decided themselves they weren’t and put them aside.” of Sydney.

“This is a conservative application of the core publication principles of defamation law, but it leaves the larger question of whether we need to reform it.”

Hate speech

The court heard that content creator Jordan Shanks uploaded videos in which he repeatedly called MP John Barillaro “corrupt” without citing credible evidence, and called him names that attacked his Italian heritage, Which Judge Steve Reres said was “nothing short of hate speech”.

By continuing to allow the publication of content, Reres stated that Google violated its policies aimed at protecting public figures from being unfairly targeted and “prematurely expelled Barillaro from its chosen service in public life.” and hurt him a lot.”

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Barillaro left politics a year after Shanks posted the video, and that “Google cannot escape responsibility for the enormous damage caused by Shanks’ campaign,” Reres said.

Shanks, who has 625,000 followers on YouTube and 346,000 on Facebook, was a co-defendant until a deal with Barillaro last year that included editing the video and paying the former politician $100,000.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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