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.

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  • identicon
    Just Bob, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:18am

    who needs to read the comments?

    it's not like Google could do a keyword search through the comments or anything...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:25am

      Re: who needs to read the comments?

      Yes, they should make sure their sofware looks for the keywords "box" "tissues" "disabled" "taunt" "kid" just in case someone posts a video about kids taunting another disabled kid with a box of tissues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Johnny Canada, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:21am

    Is it just me or does it seem that the E.U. does not like Google ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:23am

    Durr wut?

    How about nobody gets any jailtime for throwing kleenex at a retard. Waste of time, money, and energy over something no worse than what happens on gradeschool playgrounds every day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    google = cia, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:28am

    thats why

    imagine why foreign govts should hate google and well why they hate MS too
    all that govt interference in operations
    that you dont know of haha

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dan, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:50am

    This case, and all others like it, boil down to lack of common sense in the face of tech. If this same thing happened without you tube involvement, the police have a set procedure. When you introduce ANY internet element, all common sense goes out the window.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      Yep the perpetrators outed themselves. If anything they should thank google allowing the miscreants to incriminate themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:07am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jollygreengiant, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:03am

    Don't forget...

    who the prime-minister is in Italy, and what his second-job is. Rupert must be bursting with envy at not having such a great opportunity as Berlusconi has to take a pop at Google.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vincent Clement, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:13am

      Re: Don't forget...

      Don't forget...this is Italy we are talking about? How many governments have they had since World War II?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        interval, 30 Nov 2009 @ 12:37pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Palmyra (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 1:18pm

          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....

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            interval, 4 Dec 2009 @ 7:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hulser (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:16am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PRMan, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:25am

    I would hope...

    I would hope that by now Google has completely blocked all YouTube access in Italy. Who knows what else they might get next?

    The death penalty for a video showing a kitten being run over?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Johnny Canada, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:55am

      Re: I would hope...

      How about on top of blocking YouTube the block all webpages in Italy from Google search. Then if that does not work they can block all pages with the word Italy (inculed all tourist information).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:28am

    Seems to me that the Google execs should throw boxes of tissues at the Italian prosecutors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:33am

    Are they running for office?

    Are these prosecutors running for office like the grand standing AGs that were going after Craigs List here in the US?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pangolin (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:47am

    Here here...

    I think we need more such prosecutions. Hear me out. The more ludicrous these get then the sooner people will decide to change the law to explicitly protect service providers and we can get on with our happy lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 12:14pm

    boys will be boys

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    fogbugzd (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 12:26pm

    It's just better PR

    Prosecuting schoolboys for taunting doesn't get many headlines. Prosecuting Google gets worldwide attention. My hope is that these prosecutors get the professional and public embarrassment that they deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Computra, 30 Nov 2009 @ 12:29pm

    seriously....

    Or how about the "creators" of the kids...aka the parents who didn't teach their kids not to be bullies.

    Also....to the person who said boys will be boys....seriously...try not putting back the human race a few hundred years in social evolution with that comment....I hate to hear "Boys will be boys"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ryan Diederich, 30 Nov 2009 @ 4:35pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    interval, 30 Nov 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Legislators should immediately be arrested for all the bad laws they pass. At least Google admins have an out; they may or may not be reading the comments of videos they host- lawmakers have no excuse for the bad legislation that flows through their doors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 1:31pm

    An idea

    Cut all E.U. members off from the Internet, that would serve the Xenophobes right

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    se-po, 30 Nov 2009 @ 2:07pm

    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...'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shortcinema, 30 Nov 2009 @ 2:26pm

    The Italian Legal system

    This story doesn't surprise me.

    Remember this is also the same judicial body that let a rapist go free and blamed the victim because ...are you ready for this...she was wearing tight jeans. He blamed her jeans for her attack.
    Look it up. I am not making this up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shortcinema, 30 Nov 2009 @ 2:27pm

    The Italian Legal system

    This story doesn't surprise me.

    Remember this is also the same judicial body that let a rapist go free and blamed the victim because ...are you ready for this...she was wearing tight jeans. He blamed her jeans for her attack.
    Look it up. I am not making this up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Milano, 30 Nov 2009 @ 11:46pm

    Sue

    So what about your own idiotic sue-culture?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lil, 7 Dec 2009 @ 7:39pm

    oh WAIT

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Files search engine, 28 Jan 2010 @ 3:29am

    Funny. In what century do the prosecutors live? How could they imagine that they read all the comments on YouTube.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    watch anime online, 6 May 2010 @ 1:50am

    This is about you tube and thanks for talking about this .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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