A German court has hit YouTube with a $118,000 fine – a year after failing to follow the previous order to immediately reinstate a video of a protest against COVID-19 lockdowns in Switzerland that was posted by a German user.
YouTube argued that the video violated its policies on COVID-19 “misinformation” and has removed millions of videos that allegedly violate this policy since the pandemic began. But the court did not agree with their argument.
“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,” an attorney for the plaintiff, Joachin Steinhoefel, said in a statement on Twitter.
While YouTube, as a private company, would be well within its rights to remove any similar videos in the U.S., the German court found that the platform’s policy against COVID-19 misinformation was not presented clearly to the person who uploaded the video.
Specifically, the court ruled that the platform’s standard notice that its user policies can change at any time was insufficient and that users should have been given a separate notice about the COVID-19 policy, instead.