Brazilian court orders YouTube to remove anti-Muslim video

A state judge in Brazil has ordered Google to remove the controversial trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" or face fines. Google has not yet responded.

Mar 3, 2020, 2:19 am*


Fernando Alfonso III 

Fernando Alfonso III

For the second time in two days, the Brazilian courts have set their sights on Google for its handling of YouTube videos.

A state court in Brazil has ordered Google-owned YouTube to take down an anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. which has sparked violent demonstrations around the world.

The court in São Paulo has blocked the YouTube movie trailer for “The Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a philanderer and pedophile. The suit was brought against Google by Brazil’s National Islamic Union (UNI) who argued that the film was “offensive and a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of religion,” Reuters reported.

If the film is not taken down within 10 days, Judge Gilson Delgado Miranda said that Google would be fined $4,900 (10,000 Brazilian Real) a day until it is finally removed.

Google has not released a statement regarding Miranda’s ruling.

“The judge acknowledged the complexity of the case. He denied UNI’s request that Google prevent the video from being uploaded in future, but encouraged UNI to make him aware of new uploads of the controversial film, saying that Google would then have to remove them,” Morningstar reported.

News of the ruling comes about a day after another Brazilian judge ordered the arrest of a Google executive who refused to take down a YouTube video insulting a mayoral candidate. Google is appealing Judge Flavio Peren’s order for the arrest of Fabio Jose Silva Coehlo, Google’s president of operations in Brazil, and said in a statement that it will continue hosting videos on YouTube.

According to Article 5 of Brazil’s Constitution, “expression of thought is free, anonymity being forbidden.” There are other laws in Brazil that criminalize racist and hateful speech.

The anti-Islam movie trailer has resulted in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and Libya banning YouTube after violent protests broke out in these countries.

Photo by brionv/Flickr

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 26, 2012, 1:53 pm