A Mexican judge ordered Google to pay $245 million to a lawyer who claimed that the tech giant permitted the propagation of a blog accusing him of money laundering.
But Google said in a statement that it “deplores the conviction” while confirming the penalty. The tech giant also said that the verdict was arbitrary, exorbitant, as well as based on no evidence and it is determined to defend itself until the very end.
Ulrich Richter Morales, a Mexican lawyer, accused the tech platform of allowing the dissemination of a blog that identified him in alleged money laundering, influence peddling, and document falsification charges.
As reported, Richter Morales, who is the author of several books on citizenship, claimed that in 2015, he urged Google to take down the anonymous blog. He subsequently filed a “moral damage” complaint, which he won in a lower court.
However, Google said in a statement that the Mexican court verdict, which was issued on June 13, undermines freedom of expression and other fundamental rights.
It is noteworthy that in other countries, Google has already received a number of such complaints.
For example, in June, a court in Australia ordered Google to pay a former politician $515,000 in damages for two defamatory YouTube postings.
Former New South Wales state deputy premier John Barilaro filed a Federal Court lawsuit against Google and comedian Jordan Shanks over the videos. According to reports, Barilaro was the target of a relentless, racist, abusive, and defamatory campaign on YouTube, a Google-owned platform, said the court.
If Google had taken down the videos, which were uploaded in September and October of 2020, as requested by letter in December of that year, Barilaro said he would not have sued.
Prior to that according to reports from 2019, in India Visaka Industries filed the lawsuit after the business claimed it had sent legal notices to Google India requesting that the article be removed. Google then petitioned the Andhra High Court for a stay of the proceedings but was denied.
Later, Google India lost its appeal in the Indian Supreme Court and was ordered to face criminal charges. According to the court judgement, previous to the 2009 change to Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, Google India could not claim protection against the publishing of defamatory content.
The provision, which protects third-party intermediaries over any published content, would not apply to Google India in this case because the defamation complaint was filed before 2009.
However, Google Support offers an opportunity to remove content from Google platforms.
On its webpage, Google says, “This page will help you get to the right place to report content that you would like removed from Google’s services under applicable laws. Providing us with complete information will help us investigate your inquiry…We ask that you submit a separate notice for each Google service where the content appears.”
“To report nudity/graphic sexual content or unlawful impersonation, use this form” it noted while adding a series of options such as YouTube, Blogger, and Google Search.
Upon clicking on the options, it takes to the next section where a list of concerns can be found and a user will have to select one option.
People can report information that is illegal or violates Google’s terms of service. Next what happens is without a court order, the company normally removes items such as non-consensual explicit photographs, copyrighted material, or personal information (such as financial or medical data).
But if the company doesn’t remove it, people can sue Google for defamation and get a court order mandating removal.