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Should Google be held responsible for video?

March 12, 2010

By Jack Kwok, Hang Seng School of Commerce

I am writing in response to the  article  ‘Google held responsible for video’ which appeared in Young Post on March 1. 

 Google should not be found guilty in this case. Google Video is merely  a public platform  for sharing videos. It  did not  film or  upload  the video. It is the person who made the video who should  be held responsible for the content.  To blame Google because it left the video up for “too long”  is not rational –  there are many  videos online. Should website managers watch all the videos on their pages?   After Google  received complaints, the video was removed. This shows it  took  responsibility. 

The internet is growing rapidly. More and more people are going online. We need more communication platforms  like Google Video to share our interests with each other.  This judgment has set a bad example.  No one will be willing to set up forums, chat rooms or other similar websites if they have to take  risks.

Ref (in Young Post, March 1)

Credit: Reuters

A Milan court has found three Google managers guilty of breaking privacy rules. They allowed a video showing a disabled teenager being bullied to be posted on a Google website.

The bullies put the video on Google Video. Google Video is very similar to YouTube.

Google removed the video after complaints from the boy’s father and an Italian support group for disabled people.

But lawyers say Google left the video online for too long.

Google senior manager, Bill Echikson, said the ruling was unfair. He said the managers had nothing to do with the video. “They didn’t upload it, they didn’t film it, they didn’t review it and yet they have been found guilty.”


The case raises questions about freedom and responsibility on the internet. Google believes it cannot be to blame for what is posted on YouTube, Facebook or other such sites.

There are a growing number of hate sites attacking Italian officials, including Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Google thinks the court case is linked to Berlusconi’s wish to have more control.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 12, 2010 12:46 pm

    From the Editor Thank you for your letter, Jack. Many people were surprised at the ruling against Google. They feel it’s sort of like blaming the paper maker when something bad is printed.

    But there is more to this case than first meets the eye. Italy’s president Silvio Berlusconi owns a big portion of the country’s media. Google can be seen as a threat to the established media.

    But Hong Kong laws are not so different. Publishers and platforms here will seldom allow just anyone to upload content to their site. They can be held responsible for whatever appears on their site.

    Susan, Editor

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