The Associated Press reported that police arrested a Google Brazil executive last night for failing to take down YouTube videos slandering mayoral candidate Alcides Bernal in next month’s local elections. A judge in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul issued a warrant for Fabio Jose Silva Coelho for violation of election laws that forbid campaigns from slandering another candidate’s integrity, which the uploaded video in question has allegedly done. AFP reported that the video in question accused Bernal of “instigating abortion, drunkenness, physical injury of a minor, illicit enrichment, and contempt as well as prejudice against the underprivileged.”
Silva Coelho has since been released and is awaiting trial. Google has said they are not responsible for the content posted on YouTube and would appeal the decision.
Adding to YouTube’s problem in Brazil, a judge in Sao Paulo, home to a large Middle Eastern community, ordered Google to remove the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” video from its website because of its offensiveness to Muslims. The judge has given the company has 10 days to remove the video or face daily fines of $4,950.
What may be freedom of speech in one country could be grounds for an arrest warrant in another country. Brazil’s court rulings have proven that.