In not so good news for the internet giant, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), a Brazilian judge has ordered the arrest of Google’s head of operations in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho. The arrest order came in response to the refusal by Google to remove YouTube videos that slammed a mayoral candidate. Judges held executives responsible for resisting the removal of online videos in violation of a stringent 1965 Electoral Code. The law bans campaign ads that “offend the dignity or decorum” of a candidate.
Last week, Judge Flavio Peren, issued an order for the removal of two videos, which contains derogatory remarks about Alcides Bernal, a candidate for the mayor of the city of Campo Grande, apart from this the judge also called for a statewide, 24-hour suspension of Google and its video-sharing site.
In a statement released by Google to Associated Press, it said to appeal against the ruling since it is not responsible for content posted on the site. “Google is appealing the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not responsible for the content posted to its site,” the company said through a spokesman in Brazil.
Also, the police authorities told Associated Press that they haven’t received orders to arrest Coelho. A simple YouTube search reveals several videos of the candidate Bernal, including the video about documents he’s allegedly hiding and another accusing Bernal of money laundering.
Such legal accusations are not the first cases that the internet company has to face in Brazil. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been engaged in several cases for months with some of which ended up a bit off-the-wall, such as Google replying to a lawsuit with a risotto recipe.
As TNW’s Anna Heim noted at the time: “While this specific case may have its merits, it is also one of many attempts to hold Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and similar companies responsible for content posted on the platforms they make available in Brazil.”
Like many countries, Brazil has persistently been requesting Google to censor many of its contents. According to Google, it had received a total of 669 removal requests from Brazil, with the majority of them being attributed to the company’s refusal to give up blogger identities. In the second half of last year, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed four Orkut profiles following an electoral court order, the company said on a portion of its website called the Transparency Report.