Italian Prosecutors Assume Google Execs Read All YouTube Comments; Demands Jailtime Over Video

from the common-sense-failure dept

We’ve been absolutely stunned by the Italian attempt to prosecute Google execs over a YouTube video. If you don’t recall the story, apparently some schoolboys taunted a disabled boy by throwing a tissue box at him. They filmed the entire ordeal and posted it to YouTube. Because of the video, the kids in the video were actually held liable for the taunting. It actually helped bring those kids to justice. Meanwhile, Google took down the video as soon as they were alerted to it by the authorities (within a couple hours of finding out about it). But Italian prosecutors insist not only that Google should have blocked the video entirely, but the fact that they left it up means that its execs are guilty of criminal violations and deserve jailtime.

In pressing the case forward, prosecutors are claiming that Google must have known about the nature of the video because there were comments on the YouTube video expressing disgust over the video. It’s as if they believe that Google execs read all the comments posted to YouTube and use those to pick and choose which videos should stay up and which should be taken down.

In the meantime, I’m still wondering why Italian prosecutors are not trying to push the tissue manufacturer in jail as well, as I would argue that those who made the package of tissues thrown at the boy are at least as, if not more, responsible for the actions of those kids as Google.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: google, youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Italian Prosecutors Assume Google Execs Read All YouTube Comments; Demands Jailtime Over Video”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Exactly. Remove the internet and what do you have?

A guy goes out to his car and finds a dvd under his windshield wiper. He watches it with a few of his friends, it’s some kids throwing a box at another kid. His friends express disgust. He shows the cops, the cops…

..charge him for finding it on his car?

Meh, maybe that analogy doesn’t work quite well (I shouldn’t have used a car!), but anyone with any amount of (un)common sense can tell that Google is not to blame here.

interval says:

Re: Re: Don't forget...

“…this is Italy we are talking about? How many governments have they had since World War II?”

Uh, since WWII the US has had 11 (11 presidents since Truman); don’t throw stones at your own glass house. Or rather- you don’t need to make it plain that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Palmyra (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Don't forget...

By count I get 61 Italian governments since WW2. That plus 2 Republics. BTW with the exception of Nixon resignation and JFKs assignation all of our presidential changes have been due to a vote on a scheduled date.

Now Italy has had how many governments that lasted over a year? Love all those 11 and 12 day ones.

Happy my grandparents left….

interval says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Don't forget...

“BTW with the exception of Nixon resignation and JFKs assignation all of our presidential changes have been due to a vote on a scheduled date.”

So what? What difference does that make? You seem to be insinuating that there’s something cheap or slimy about Italian politics or that American politics are somehow “better”. Brother, having been a life-long citizen, I got news for ya…

Hulser (profile) says:

Innocent until reasonably imagined to be found guilty

From the linked article…
“‘It is reasonable to imagine that comments like this were followed by requests by these same people that the video be removed,’ the prosecutors wrote in the document they presented to the judge.”

So, you can be put in jail in Italy for things that are “reasonable to imagine” rather than what has actually been proved? Either there is a mechanism for users of the Italian version of Google to report “offensive” content or there isn’t. And, as the article mentions, Google isn’t required by law to support such a feature or monitor the comments, but to remove content when notified by the “authorities”. It looks like Google is being prosecuted for a law that doesn’t exist.

Ryan Diederich says:

Re: seriously....

No, you seriously.

Are you implying that as a modern civilization, all disputes, lessons, and fights, should take place in the courts?

The kids got in trouble, end of story. If anything, other kids at school gave them shit for it.

If my and a schoolmate have beef, Ill punch him in the face. If he deserved it, he got what he got. And guess what, it didnt take 100 grand in lawyer fees for me to figure it out.

se-po says:

the situation

It’s not a great moment here in Italy.
People have no idea about technology, most of them watch TV and don’t know internet as well (except for pornography or free football streaming). And our prime minister owns almost all the TV stations of the country.
This is a first step for censorship over the internet, just to tell at evrybody: ‘Be careful with the internet, it’s evil…’.

lil says:


the issue at hand is not the ‘disgusted comments,’ its about the fact that such a video was allowed online, for all to see. The comments show that ppl were disgusted by the video, hence why google had to remove it. they are being prosecuted bc it took them so long. stop undermining italian politics, us is not all that either, its just different.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...