Google Executives Acquitted Over Case Featuring An Autistic Boy Getting Bullied

Posted Dec 22, 2012

Three Google executives have been acquitted in a case where a video featuring an Italian boy getting bullied was posted on Google Video in 2006.  In a public hearing, the court overturned a previous ruling in 2010 where the Google executives were sentenced to jail.  The reasons for the decision around will be made public in 60 days.

“We are very happy that the earlier decision was not confirmed, and that the court of appeals recognized the innocence of our colleagues,” stated Google policy manager Giorgia Abeltino.  “Our thoughts are with the boy and his family for the difficult moments they have endured.”

Four students at a school in Turin uploaded a mobile phone clip to Google Video in 2006.  The prosecutors had accused Google of negligence and they said that the video remained online for two months even though people posted comments asking for it to be taken down.

Back in February 2010, an Italian court ordered that three Google executives would need to spend 6 months in jail.  Google said that the executives had nothing to do with the uploaded video.

The three executives that were ordered to serve jail time included Google SVP and chief legal officer David Drummond, former Google Italy board member George De Los Reyes, and global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer.

A complaint was filed by an Italian advocacy group for people with Down’s Syndrome called Vivi Down.  The autistic boy’s father also filed a complaint.  Vivi Down was a plaintiff because they were named by the boys in the video.  Google said that they removed the video immediately after they were notified.

[Source: Reuters]