Google executive arrested in Brazil as the company resists orders to freeze political speech on YouTube

Brazilian Federal Police

According to Globo, Google executive Fabio José Silva Coelho has been arrested by federal police in Brazil, after the company refused a judge’s order to remove a controversial political video from YouTube. Judge Flavio Peren ordered Coelho’s arrest for violating Brazil’s election laws, which prohibits attack ads that defame candidates in the lead-up to an election. As Reuters reports, a Google spokesperson says that the company is appealing the decision “because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site.” We are still waiting for Google to respond to our own inquiry about the arrest, but the company has made similar arguments in the past when confronted with local interpretations of free speech.


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