Google Ordered to Pay Australian Politician $515,000 Over Defamatory Videos

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Jun 07, 2022

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The court ruled on Monday that the Big Tech firm profited from the “relentless, racist” videos.

Google Profited From Hate Speech

An Australian court has ordered Google to pay a former lawmaker 715,000 Australian dollars ($515,000) for damages over videos shared on YouTube. 

The court found the company liable for failing to remove the “relentless, racist, vilificatory, abusive, and defamatory” videos. That campaign drove the former legislator out of politics, it said.

Content creator Jordan Shanks uploaded the videos, in which he repeatedly labeled John Barilaro as corrupt. He did not present any evidence for his allegations in the videos. 

He also weaponized Barilaro’s Italian heritage in what the Judge described as “nothing less than hate speech.” Barilaro was the deputy premier of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.

Shanks is a standup comedian who satirically discusses contemporary issues on the popular video-sharing platform, including Australian politics. According to Judge Rares, Shank’s attacks forced the politician to leave public office last year. The videos were viewed about 800,000 times since they were uploaded towards the end of 2020.

In the ruling, the court determined that Google, YouTube’s parent company, earned thousands of dollars through hosting the content. It said that it did not apply its own anti-hate speech, bullying, and harassment policies.

Shanks was previously a co-defendant in the case until he reached a settlement deal with Barilaro last year. He agreed to pay the former politician 100,000 Australian dollars ($72,000).

Sources.

CNN

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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