(1) The Plaintiff, a teacher called Aliandra, was informed by students that Orkut hosted an allegedly defamatory "community" (a discussion forum created by users) called “I hate Aliandra". The teacher claims this community harmed her reputation. She notified Google and request the community to be taken down. Google replied that the content could not amount to defamation and that a court order would be required to take the content down.
(2) The Plaintiff filed the lawsuit and requested a) an injunction to take down the community and b) damages to be paid by Google for hosting the content. Her injunction request was denied, so the community remained online. Google presented its defense.
(3) Upon trial, the District Court of Minas Gerais (Tribunal de Justiça de Minas Gerais) decided the content was indeed defamatory and ordered the community to be taken down, and also held Google liable for failing to comply with her extrajudicial request before the lawsuit was filed, and ordered the company to pay damages to her.
(4) The community was then taken down, and Google filed an appeal that was rejected by the State Court of Appeals.
(5) Google filed another appeal, this time to the Supreme Court of Brazil, and the issue was considered important enough to be decided as a "general repercussion" matter, setting a binding precedent. The Supreme Court of Brazil will eventually decide, then, whether an online intermediary that hosts third party content should be held liable for failing to comply with a mere request from an user for content takedown, or if liability can only stem from failure to comply with a court order.
(6) Please note, however, that this case was filed before Marco Civil, according to which intermediaries can only be held liable for third party content if they fail to comply with a judicial decision ordering the removal of said content. Up until then, courts usually decided that failure to comply with the extrajudicial request of the plaintiff was already grounds to hold intermediaries liable.
Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Highest Domestic/National (including State) Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order