A regional judge has ordered the arrest of Google’s president in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, after the company failed to take down YouTube videos.
Authorities say the videos are slanderous towards a candidate running in a city’s election for mayor. The judge ordered the removal of the videos last week, but Google has refused to remove them and says it is appealing.
It says it is not responsible for the content posted on its site.
According to Brazilian media, the videos in question suggest Alcides Bernal – a mayoral candidate in the city of Campo Grande – is guilty of committing crimes.
Judge Flavio Peren, who sits at a regional electoral court in Mato Grosso do Sul state, ruled the videos violated local election laws.
But his order for the videos to be removed was ignored and on Monday he ordered the arrest of Mr Coelho.
“Google is appealing the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site,” the company said through a spokesman in Brazil.
It has previously argued that the internet should be a space for voters freely to express their opinions about candidates for political office.
But Google’s responsibility for the content it disseminates has recently come into question in other contexts, such as the case of the anti-Islam video that sparked protests around the Muslim world, say correspondents.