Google, Facebook fined by Brazil judges over dead singer’s photos


RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian judges have fined Facebook and Google thousands of dollars for failing to remove gruesome photos and videos showing the body of a popular singer killed last month in a car crash.

The fines imposed by a court in Goiana, capital of the central Goias state, are the latest blow in an ongoing tussle over Facebook and Google’s policies regarding privacy and publication of offensive material.

Cristiano Araujo, 29, was killed alongside his girlfriend in a car crash in Goias on June 24.

Shortly after, photos and amateur video footage emerged on the internet of his body at the crash site and — in shocking detail — at the morgue.

On Wednesday, the images could still easily be found by conducting a Google search.

On Tuesday, Judge Denise Gondim de Medonca fined Google Brazil and Facebook 50,000 reais ($ 15,500) for ‘bad faith’ in ignoring an earlier order, Brazilian media reported.

In his original ruling, Judge William Fabian, at the same court, blasted the posting of such images as demonstrating “worrying morbidness that is extremely disrespectful to the family’s feeling of sorrow.”

The ruling, made June 25, ordered “an immediate stop of the dissemination of such degrading images on the worldwide computer web.”

In case of non-compliance, Google Brazil and Facebook could face fines of 10,000 reais daily, Fabian ordered in the ruling published on the court website.

Neither the court, Google Brazil nor Facebook were available immediately to comment.

Internet privacy is becoming an ever more important issue as social media, online data and cellphone cameras become increasingly ubiquitous.

For example last month Google said it was working to remove sexually explicit images posted of people without their content, acknowledging that these images were often misused — often in what is referred to as revenge porn.

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