For failing to remove a controversial photo, a Brazilian court fined #Facebook and #Google 10,000 USD each. According to the French news agency (AFP), a Brazilian court ordered both companies not to publish a photo of Brazilian singer Cristano Araujo -- who died in an accident last month.
Photos of the singer taken at the scene of the accident (and at the morgue) were published on both websites following the tragedy. It was later determined by a judge that both Facebook and Google ignored the court's ruling. The judge claimed that both showed "distrust" by not removing the photos (the order to not publish was given on the 25th of June last month.
It's not the first time that Facebook and Google have been hit with court orders -- back in 2013, an Indian court ordered both to make a kind of filtering process to allow for such content to be prohibited. While Facebook and Google do have strict policies in place prohibiting certain content from being viewed and/or distributed on their respective sites, the internet is quite the slippery slope when it comes to dealing with these matters. For one thing, once something is put on the internet, it's out there for the world to see, and even strict user guidelines, safe searches, and parental control mechanisms can only do so much when it comes to filtering certain types of content. Undoubtedly, there will always be things that slip through the cracks.
Facebook declined to comment when questioned over this news. However, Facebook added more guidelines to its User's Guide, reminding users not to publish or post any content that may violate their terms and conditions. Even though such is in place, however, there will always exist some content that slips through and makes its way onto both sites. At a certain point, it's left up to the individual to decide what to do.
For tech titans like these, $10,000 is no great loss, but cases like this do shed light on an important issue. With the world at our fingertips, we as a society have continued to become desensitized by all the stimulation and saturation that exists on the internet. At a certain point, our curiosity may get the better of us, and personal decency/social etiquette may take a back seat -- but at what cost?