Brazil court supports free speech

Brazil’s top appeals court rejected a woman’s effort to force Google to censor postings on its popular Orkut social networking site.

According to court documents the woman complained about insults posted on Orkut. She sued Google to force it to censor all insulting remarks.

The justices said such a request was a violation of free speech and rejected her suit.

Brazilian court rules for Google in insults case

The victory is an important one. There are still a number of laws on the books left over from the dictatorship that could — with the right judge — be used to stifle free speech. Fortunately for freedom of speech — and all the other related freedoms — most judges are either refusing to enforce those laws or are declaring them unconstitutional. (As a court did with several restrictive media laws last year.)

Orkut is wildly popular in Brazil. About 48 percent of all Orkut users are from Brazil. A recent study also showed Orkut had 36 million unique visits while Facebook had only 9 million.

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Filed under Censorship, South America

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