Well, there’s at least one Google executive that might want to hop on the next plane out of Sao Paolo–and it’s not because someone’s cheesed off at Orkut’s seeming frumpy sister status within the company’s social strategy.
Reuters reports that a regional Brazilian elections court wants the company’s top man in Brazil arrested immediately, as YouTube wouldn’t remove a video deemed defamatory of a local mayoral candidate.
“You can do that?!” — every political candidate in America right now.
A spokesperson told Reuters that Google isn’t taking the command lying down:
“Google is appealing the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site,” the company said through a spokesman in Brazil.
This, of course, is not a new party line for the company. In the U.S., you can send a takedown notice to YouTube if you suspect a video infringes on your copyright, and the company polices for content that’s outright illegal or objectionable (i.e., child porn). But otherwise it’s largely hands off and God bless. Google is blocking the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” trailer only in countries where it’s banned, for example.
And in America, of course, you can say just about anything short of “my opponent is a goat-romancing sonofabitch” and get away with it. (You could definitely say that, actually.)
Brazil, however, apparently takes the dignity of its political process very, very seriously. This isn’t even the first time this has happened this month–previously, an electoral court elsewhere in the country ordered the arrest of a different Google exec, for a video about another candidate.
Five bucks says the thought of decamping to Brazil and becoming a small-town mayor just flickered across Mitt Romney’s mind.