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Category : General 04 Mar 2010 09:55 AM | Insider News
Google don’t yet appear to be out of the woods regarding the recent conviction of three of their executives in Italy over video uploaded to YouTube showing an autistic boy being bullied. The general ins and outs of the case have already been reported elsewhere, but there protestations that they’ve acted responsibly throughout the whole business and that they’re appealing the conviction seem to be unraveling.
Google’s initial response was to say that they’d immediately removed the offensive footage within a few hours ‘as soon as they became aware of it’ - the truth is that they took months to remove it from view during which time they argued that it wasn’t offensive. They now, conveniently, hide behind the lack of feedback about the video as being abusive for not removing it sooner. However, to report an offensive piece of material on YouTube you have to be logged-in, but to see it you don’t. So surely the obvious point here is - how many people might see something, anything, on YouTube and never log-in to it in their lives? Ergo, why isn’t there a system to alert Google to, shall we say, unsavory footage without being logged-in? Time for some legal input!
Lillian Edwards (Professor of Internet Law at Sheffield University, UK) is quite clear that under the EU e-commerce directive - it’s a question of how easy it was to bring to Google’s attention that something here was wrong. Google seem to have failed to do this and so are culpable in the matter.
It really is time that these big American IT corporations got it into their heads that whatever standards might go down fine in California, Kansas or Carolina - isn’t necessarily what the rest of the world wants or will accept. The internet is, of course, a true gift enabling us to communicate individually and commercially with other folk all over the world - but that’s not to say we shouldn’t all be cognizant of how important it is to consider other peoples expectations and standards.