Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) and the government of Brazil had an uncomfortable situation, when the Brazilian court demanded that the company take down a video from YouTube which showed a mayoral candidate from Brazil. When Google failed to comply initially, the Brazilian court ordered for arrest of the president of the Google operations in Brazil. Although Google finally complied and took down the “offensive” video, the company is still unhappy about the breach of free expression and free speech which was not allowed.
The video which caused the tension and the controversy featured Alcides Bernal, a mayoral candidate for Campo Grande, a city in Brazil. According to the court, the video had to taken off YouTube because of the breach of the electoral code from 1965, which stated that campaigns which insulted the dignity or the decorum of a candidate would not be allowed. Although this did not quite qualify as a campaign, Google was stiff a little unnerved by the request from the Brazilian court.
On Tuesday, Flavio Peren, regional electoral court judge, ruled that as a result of the video offending the laws and the rules, it had to be removed, because it was contrary to the electoral policies held by the government in Brazil. When this request was not fulfilled by Google, Peren ordered for the arrest of the president of Brazil operations of Google, Fabio Coelho.
Although the police brought Fabio in for questioning, he was released soon after that, and the video was taken down and the account which had put up the video was deactivated by Google. The person who had put up the video had explained that the video was an ironical one, but the Brazil law-enforcers were not going to take a chance with it. The police, it is rumored, had been inquisitive about Google’s hesitance to take the video down, while questioning Coelho.
Brazil and the United States of America are the two countries which have demanded for such censorship, the most. The two countries, it is said, have made the maximum number of requests to Google to bring down certain kinds of content for various intents and purposes.