Earlier this week in Milan, a judge took a stand for autism, and a stand against Google. Why? Google had apparently hosted a video of an autistic teenager being picked on, and were going to reap profit from the advertisements displayed on the same page as the video.
Judge Oscar Magi felt this was a privacy violation on behalf of the autistic teen, and convicted three Google employees accordingly.
Magi justified his decision by stating: “In simple words, it is not the writing on the wall that constitutes a crime for the owner of the wall, but its commercial exploitation can.”
Google did not sit quietly by the decision. They feel that the internet is supposed to be a place where there can be a free exchange of ideas. They wrote in their statement: “”If these [freedom] principles are swept aside, then the web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear. These are important points of principle, which is why we and our employees will vigorously appeal this decision.”
Magi wanted his decision to be seen as a wake-up call to those who do not monitor or pay attention to what they host. Magi did not necessarily disagree with Google’s statement, rather he felt that the idea of freedom on the internet can only be pushed so far.
Magi wrote in his ruling, “”But on the other hand, there also is no such thing as the endless prairie of the Internet where everything is allowed and nothing can be banned.”