In Australia, a court has now sentenced Google to pay a fine to a politician. It was about a comedian’s slander videos and how the company made money from it.

An Australian federal court has ordered the US Internet company Google to pay compensation equivalent to more than 466,000 euros to a politician who had been defamed by videos on the online platform YouTube. Judge Steven Rares said former New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro was so traumatized by a comedian’s videos that he retired early from politics.

Google has been fined in Australia

Youtube is a subsidiary of Google. Comedian Jordan Shanks published a series of videos on the platform in 2020 under his stage name “Friendlyjordies”, in which he accused the then Deputy Prime Minister of New South Wales of corruption and made fun of him with an Italian accent. Barilaro called the videos racist in court and said he was traumatized by them to this day. In October 2020 he therefore left Parliament.

In December 2020, Barilaro’s lawyers asked Google to remove the offending videos. At the end of 2021, Barilaro finally reached an agreement with the comedian. He apologized and agreed to edit the videos. They have since been viewed over a million times on YouTube.

According to judge Steven Rares, the US group is liable for the damage caused to Barilo since December 2020. Accordingly, Shanks needed YouTube “to spread his poison”. Google, in turn, “earned revenue” from the comedian’s videos, in line with its business model.