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Google to Pay Australian Politician $515K for Defamatory YouTube Videos

On Monday, an Australian court ordered Google to pay A$715,000 or $515,000 to a former senior lawmaker after a YouTube commentator’s “relentless, racist, insulting, derogatory and defamatory propaganda” persuaded him to leave politics prematurely.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google owns the content-sharing website YouTube. A federal court has found that the videos are being used to attack the deputy premier of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, by hosting two videos that earned thousands of dollars, with about 800,000 views since posting in late 2020.

Video of political commentator Jordan Shanks questioning the integrity of lawmaker John Barilaro, including calling him “corrupt” without evidence and calling him “no less than hate speech,” Judge Steve Lalo Rees told the court.

Videos by political commentator Jordan Shanks have questioned the integrity of lawmaker John Barilaro, including labelling him “corrupt” without evidence and calling him a racist name, nothing less than a “hate speech,” Judge Steve Rares told the court.

When Barreiro left politics in October 2021, he was “hurt by the propaganda of Google and Mr Shanks, and it forced him to leave public office untimely,” Reyes said.

“I found Google’s behaviour in this process inappropriate and unreasonable”, the court said. A spokesman for Shanks, a co-defendant with Google until he and Barilaro reached an agreement last year.

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