Tech giant Google is ordered by the Australian court to pay 715,000 Australian dollars to John Barilaro, the former deputy prime minister of the state of New South Wales, The Guardian reports.
Barilaro was insulted and harassed in two YouTube videos by comedian Jordan Shanks to the point that he became depressed and left politics.
Barilaro sued comedian Shanks and Google, YouTube’s parent company, in 2020. In November 2021, Barilaro settled with Shanks (whose online alias is Friendlyjordies), after he apologized for the harassment and edited the videos.
However, Google refused to apologize for the videos, which it did not want to take offline. Initially, the company defended the videos, although it stopped just before the lawsuit started. In doing so, the company essentially admitted that the videos were offensive.
According to Barilaro’s lawyer, his political reputation was greatly damaged by the false messages in the videos, for which the company had to pay the maximum compensation. The judge in Australia agreed this week, saying Barilaro was “traumatized” by the “hateful and racist” videos. According to the judge, Barilaro had to leave public office prematurely as a result.