Google to block YouTube video in Brazil

Fabio Coelho, the director of Google’s operations in Brazil, said in a company blog post on Thursday that it was “deeply disappointed” with the court’s decision to deny its appeal and said Google had “no choice” but to block the video.

“We are deeply disappointed that we have never had the full opportunity to argue in court that these were legitimate free speech videos and should remain available in Brazil,” Coelho said. “Despite all this, we will continue to campaign for free expression globally — not just because it’s a key tenet of free societies, but also because more information generally means more choice, more power, more economic opportunity and more freedom for people.”

Police detained Coelho on Wednesday after Google refused to remove the video clips, and released him after questioning. Brazil has stringent laws that restrict the type of content critics can air on TV about a candidate before an election, the AP reported.

Coelho said a user who published one of the video clips in question has now removed it and closed their YouTube account, “showing just what a chilling effect these episodes can have on free speech.”

Google is also facing a series of fines if it does not comply with another Brazilian court order to remove clips of the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” movie trailer from YouTube, according to the AP. The video is believed to have set off violent protests targeted at U.S. embassies abroad.

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