The court determined that Google must reactivate a video in which businessman Luciano Hang, owner of the Havan store chain, talks about the COVID-19 pandemic and the company’s performance during the health crisis. In the interview removed by YouTube, Hang criticizes the social isolation, praises the vaccination policy of the Bolsonaro administration and defends “early treatment”.
Judge says Google violated Marco Civil da Internet
Judge Gilberto Gomes, from the Civil Court of Brusque, in Santa Catarina, decided that Google should reactivate Luciano Hang’s interview with Jovem Pan’s Direto ao Ponto program.
In the order, the magistrate states that the company violated the principles of freedom of expression and exercise of free thinking on the Internet, established by the Marco Civil da Internet, approved in 2014. In addition, the magistrate says that the practice entails a risk of censorship and offense freedom of expression in violation of the Constitution.
YouTube has disabled the video based on the Incorrect Information Policy related to COVID-19, where a list that does not allow submission of “incorrect medical information that contravenes World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authority guidelines on COVID-19.”
Luciano Hang claims that he was not warned about the punishment, and filed a lawsuit for compensation for moral damages against Google. He asked for a review of the punishment, under a daily fine of R$100,000 to the company if it did not reactivate the video on YouTube.
Havan owner advocated early treatment
In the video, the owner of Havan criticized the policy of social isolation, which he called “stay at home” — for him, those who remain isolated at home die more than those who pioneer the pandemic. “I don’t even know why they lockdown, because the number of people on the street has already dropped a lot,” said the businessman.
Luciano Hang also pointed out in the interview that he “knows everything about the pandemic”. He also argued that, thanks to early treatment, Chapecó managed to reduce the occupation of beds in the ICU by 90% by the end of March.
At the time the businessman gave the interview to Jovem Pan, the municipality of Chapecó had 100% capacity of the ICU beds allocated to COVID-19. Mayor João Rodrigues (PSD) — quoted by Luciano Hang — is a supporter of early treatment advocated by the Bolsonaro government, but that has not had any effect on reducing the ICU occupancy rate, as Hang said. Last Saturday, the head of the Executive Branch organized a motorcycle in the city, in which the mayor participated.
The businessman also defended that early treatment protects cells from the new coronavirus: “The vaccine attacks the virus. And early treatment protects the cell. So when you take ivermectin, chloroquine, vitamin D and zinc, you shield the cell so the virus doesn’t enter.” There is no scientific proof that the drugs and supplements listed by Luciano Hang work against COVID-19 or reduce the symptoms of those who contract the disease.
Jovem Pan ignores ban and has active rerun on YouTube
However, Jovem Pan ignored the ban on Luciano Hang’s interview and uploaded a rerun of the March 29 program on its YouTube channel. On air, the new version was not taken down by Google, and until the date of publication of this article has about 166,000 views on the platform.
The file appears in the “unlisted” category. In other words, only people who accessed Jovem Pan’s article about the rerun of the interview can see it — the material is not public and does not appear in a common search on YouTube.
When looking for the interview on the platform, Luciano Hang himself only has a 3-minute excerpt of the program on his own channel. Typically, YouTube relies on the community’s own reporting to take down content that violates its usage policy. Making the video “unlisted” can make these reports difficult.
The judge in Brusque (SC) — Luciano Hang’s hometown — ruled that Google has a period of 3 days to upload Hang’s interview to the radio, or prove that it removed the content from the air by court order, under penalty of a daily fine of R$ 10 thousand. Google can appeal the decision within 15 days.
O Techblog contacted Google, but did not get a position from the company until the time of publication.
With information: crumbs