Australian Court Orders Google to Pay for Defamation of Former Politician

Photo: Australia Google [via Independent]

The Facts

  • An Australian court on Mon. ordered Google to pay 715K Australian dollars (~500K USD) in damages to former New South Wales state deputy premier John Barilaro over two defamatory YouTube videos. [YouTube is owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet.]

  • The videos in question were posted in 2020 by political commentator and self-described comedian, Jordan Shanks. They included accusations of crimes and corruption, along with offensive terms related to Barilaro's Italian heritage.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

This is censorship run amok thanks to multiple Australian MPs. These public officials hide behind parliamentary privilege but target private citizens with defamation suits when any criticism is levied. Isn't a little satire to be expected when one enters parliament?

Pro-establishment narrative

This goes beyond this case alone. The compliancy of social media companies to enable personal attacks is something that Australia's parliament needs to scrutinize and potentially regulate. Google permitted an open season of hate speech, cyberbullying, and harassment of Barilaro, which caused him significant trauma.

Establishment split



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