Google fined for user’s defamatory comments

Internet giant Google has been fined by a Brazil court after an internet user posted defamatory messages on one of its sites relating to a Catholic priest, calling him a “paedophile”.

As reported by the Brazil newspaper O Glabo, a court in Minas Gerais has ruled in favour of the 54-year old priest. Google argued the company was not responsible for what was posted on the Orkut social networking site, but judge Alvimar de Avila disagreed.

“By making space available on virtual networking sites, in which users can post any type of message without any checks beforehand, with offensive and injurious content, and, in many cases, of unknown origin, [Google] assumes the risk of causing damage [to other people],” the judge said in his ruling.

The verdict was upholding a judgement made by a lower court, regarding the post which was made in 2008. Google was fined $US8,500.

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