Here in the United States, Google’s YouTube has taken up arms in defense of the First Amendment, refusing to take down a highly controversial anti-Muslim video in the name of free speech. In countries where free speech does not apply, however, a fight is brewing over who is responsible for politically offensive content posted to the popular site. Now, in Brazil, that fight has come to a head: The CEO of Google in Brazil, FÃbio Coelho, was arrested by federal police Wednesday in SÃo Paulo.
Just yesterday, a local judge in Brazil issued a warrant for Coelho’s arrest, citing him as responsible for Google’s failure to take down certain videos critical of a mayoral candidate. Coelho is expected to be released as soon as he agrees to appear in court. The same judge has also called for YouTube service to be suspended for a period of 24 hours, an order local internet providers are willing to abide by.
Google is appealing the judge’s decision, restating that it does not believe itself responsible for content others post to YouTube. No word on whether Coelho will be allowed to stationary bike his way to freedom.