Brazil Google head arrested over refusal to remove YouTube video

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Brazilian officials have arrested Google’s President of Brazil Operations Fabio Coelho after YouTube refused to take down videos criticizing a mayoral candidate in the city of Campo Grande.

According to Brazilian news site G1 the videos in question accuse the candidate of having a criminal history. They come as people in the South American country get ready to head to the polls to elect to new mayors, deputy mayors, and city councilors.

The judge who signed the arrest warrant also ordered a 24 hour YouTube suspension in his state.

Google maintains that the videos do not count as negative electioneering. The affected candidate meanwhile says that the videos are part of an electioneering strategy designed to undermine his candidacy as mayor.

Coelho was set to only be held for 24 hours and would be released once he signed a document committing to obey a court subpoena.

Things have seldom been easy for Google in Brazil. In Google’s most recent transparency report, the country tops the list for content removal requests.

According to The Next Web, the company has also faced a number of lawsuits in Brazil as lawyers and judges try to hold it accountable for the content posted on its various.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Google said it would be “appealing a court’s decision to remove a video from YouTube because, as a platform, we are not responsible for the content uploaded to our site”.

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