Government censorship isn’t confined to the religious hotbeds of the Eastern Hemisphere: Google’s top executive in Brazil was just released from custody after YouTube refused to take down a video critical of a local candidate. The recently freed Fabio Jose Silva Coelho is set for an undetermined court hearing after YouTube did not remove a salacious video allegedly revealing details of a mayoral candidate demanding her lover get an abortion. Since 1965, Brazil bans content that “offend the dignity or decorum” of the electoral process. “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 reports.
Brazil has also sided with a few Middle-Eastern and Asian nations in demanding that Google take down an offensive anti-Islamic video responsible for deadly riots around the world. Google agreed to censor the video in a few countries, such as Egypt and Libya, but not take it off the site and is (apparently) not taking it down in Brazil either.
The struggle highlights the growing struggle between self-expression, sovereignty, and the pervasiveness of technology.