Portuguese blog taken down by Google for unknown reasons

By EDRi · November 21, 2012

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Deutsch: [Google schaltet aus unerklärlichen Gründen portugiesischen Blog ab | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.22_Google_schaltet_aus_unerklaerlichen_Gruenden_portugiesischen_Blog_ab?pk_campaign=edri&pk_kwd=20121107]

On 14 November 2012, the blog of the group Precários Inflexíveis,
whose purpose is to expose the working conditions of freelance workers
without permanent contracts, was deleted by Google, during the day of
the general strike in the country.

Those who tried to find information about the protest and actions of the
group, were greeted with the message “This blog is in violation of
Blogger’s Terms of Service and is open to authors only”. The group wrote
on their Facebook page that the takedown was probably the result of the
accusations of defamation directed to Google by the company BF Group
which reacted to the testimony of a worker accusing the company of
“illegal work and tax evasion”.

According to James Gillot of Precarious Inflexible, the group received
an email from representatives of the BF Group where it was told there
was defamatory content on its blog and the company would incur legal
action against the movement if it did not withdraw the respective
content. Further on, Google notified Precarious Inflexible of the
possible cancellation of its blog on Google’s Blogger service, due to
the complaint made by the BF group. The group considered it had nothing
to modify and was surprised to find their blog cancelled on 14 November.
“Blogger is a platform that promotes freedom of expression and our
policies serve this purpose. Whenever some content is flagged by users,
we analyse this blog and proceed in accordance with our policies. We
believe this is the best solution to provide a safe online experience
for users of all ages and be a platform for creativity and freedom of
personal expression that have characterized Blogger and its users,”
reads the statement sent to Portugal online news website Publico by Rui
Carvalho from Google, who also stated the company did not make comments
on individual cases. Google’s new terms of service are now covering
country-specific takedowns of content on Blogger.

Precários Inflexíveis has been previously brought to court by Ambition
Marketing International, a company that argued the comments made to a
testimony published on the blog of Precarious Inflexible on 10 May 2011,
hindered the recruitment of new professionals and questioned its image.
The company required the removal of the comments from the page, which
was granted by the court in May 2012. The sentence was however revoked
by the Appeal Court on 18 September 2012 which decided that the company
did not bring enough proof that its image and prestige had been
affected, nor that there had been a decrease in the number of hires.
Google Blogger did not delete the webpage during that lawsuit, even
after the first court order.

Although Precários Inflexíveis won that case, the group believes this
was a bad precedent that encouraged other companies to attack it.

The Portuguese group stated it would continue to pressure Google to
restore its blog, and it will continue to do its job to expose
precarious working conditions.

Portugal: Activist blog silenced by Google (16.11.2012)

Precarios Infelxiveis Facebook Page

Blog of Precarios Inflexiveis blocked since Wednesday (only in
Portuguese, 15.11.2012)

The Court annuls the decision to hide comments to blog Precarios
Inflexiveis (only in Portuguese, 6.11.2012)