YouTube Fined Pocket Change by Dresden Court

A Dresden court has ordered YouTube to pay a fine for its customary high-handed behavior in deleting “misinformation” about the Wuhan Coronavirus. However, the amount of the fine is chump change — Google execs spend more than that in a weekend on hookers.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from Die Welt:

Dresden Higher Regional Court imposes a fine of €100,000 on YouTube

In late January, YouTube deleted a user’s video, referring to its “Policy on Medical Misinformation about COVID-19”. Wrongly, as a court later decided. Instead of putting the video back online immediately, YouTube took several weeks.

The Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Dresden imposed a fine of €100,000 on the video platform YouTube because it took weeks to restore an online video that had previously been wrongly deleted.

In the decision of July 5, which Welt am Sonntag documents, the OLG speaks of an intentional and serious violation. On April 20 the court ruled that YouTube had to restore the video about Corona protests in Switzerland immediately. The platform did not comply with this until May 14, 2020.

The lawyer Joachim Steinhöfel, who represents the account operator, considers the court’s decision to be a guideline for freedom of expression on the Internet. “With the historically high fine, the Higher Regional Court makes it very clear that court decisions must be observed without restriction, regardless of whether YouTube assumes a violation of its guidelines or not,” said Steinhöfel.

For YouTube, the case doesn’t seem to be over yet. A spokesman told Welt am Sonntag: “We have a responsibility to connect our users with trustworthy information and to combat misinformation during COVID-19. This is a decision on a case-by-case basis that we respect and will review accordingly.”

YouTube had deleted the video at the end of January with reference to its “Policy on medical misinformation about COVID-19”. However, the court rejected this. Among other things, it came to the conclusion that the amended guidelines had not been effectively incorporated into the contract with the account operator. An amendment contract is required for this. The mere indication that there may be changes in the future is not sufficient.