Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Google fined for 'pedophile' libel against priest

A Brazilian court has fined Google $8500 after an anonymous internet user posted defamatory messages on its Orkut social networking site against a priest, calling him a "pedophile".

A court in the state of Minas Gerais ruled in favour of the 54-year-old priest, identified by his initials J.R., after rejecting Google's argument that it was not responsible for what users posted, AFP reports.

The verdict upheld a lower court's judgment made after the priest sued for defamation in 2008 over the post, which called him "the paedophile ... the thief who has a lover", according to the O Globo daily.

"By making space available on virtual networking sites, in which users can post any type of message without any checks beforehand, with offensive and injurious content, and, in many cases, of unknown origin, (Google) assumes the risk of causing damage" to other people, judge Alvimar de Avila said.

SIC: CTHUS

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