Georgia asked Google to censor YouTube video

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This 1999 file photo shows prisoners lining up for security checks inside Smith State Prison

For the first time this week, Google revealed specific examples of the requests it gets from governments to remove content. And one such request that got a lot of attention came from Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Corrections asked Google last year to take down a video showed alleged abuse of prison inmates. “The department requested the video be removed due to its violent nature,” says Google’s transparency report.

Google’s response: “We did not remove content in response to this request as the video did not violate YouTube Community Guidelines.”

The report didn’t identify the video. But families of Georgia inmates last year posted a video shot by a DOC officer inside Smith State Prison near Savannah in 2010. It shows what the families said was a guard beating an inmate with a hammer. GBI investigated incidents there and at Macon State Prison, where guards also were accused of beating prisoners. Smith guards were cleared. But early this month, three former Macon officers were convicted for beating an inmate and the ensuing cover-up. That brought to eight the number of Macon State Prison officers convicted in the case.

Other examples cited by Google include one involving alleged fraudulent dealings by a credit company; another involving arrest of a pharmacist accused of soliciting sex from a minor over the Internet; and a request from an unidentified local law enforcement official  who wanted a search result removed that linked to a news article about his record as an officer.  Google didn’t remove that content, either.


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