Kairos loses the first round against Google

Kairos fails to get its Youtube channel deleted by Google back online because of videos that violate the Covid-19 regulations.

Kairos vs. Google: 0-1. Kairoswho wanted to focus the debate on the freedom of expression before the court just lost the first round of the trial started against google. Before the merits of the case are addressed, the French-speaking business court in Brussels has refused to restore Youtube channel of Kairos which presents itself as an “anti-productivist newspaper”.

On December 13, 2021, considering that several videos posted on the Kairos Youtube page were contrary to the rules concerning incorrect medical information on Covid-19″, Google (the parent company of Youtube), after several warnings, deleted the Kairos Youtube page. Kairos has decided to sue Google.

Before dealing with the merits of the case strictly speaking, Kairosdefended by Florian Ernotte (Avroy), had filed a motion to force google to bring youtube page back online, redacted from the disputed videos. Initially, the court endeavored to verify whether Google’s decision did not constitute a assault or would be synonymous with faulty breach.

Googledefended by Geoffroy Froidbise and Anne-Sophie Raxhon (Altius), therefore justified its decision by its “regulation concerning incorrect medical information on Covid-19” itself based on the directives and instructions of the local health authorities or those of the World Health Organization (WHO). Between the months of March and December 2021, Google has identified 7 videos in violation of this policy and deleted them warning Kairos each time.

The judges ruled that the decision to shut down Kairos’ Youtube channel was not wrongful.

In addition, Google’s policy specified that in the event of three warnings in 90 daysthe string would be closed; what was done. “Kairos was therefore well aware of the penalties applied by Google,” reads the May 2 judgment. For the court, the sanctions taken by Google correspond to what was expected. Based on this, the judges considered that the decision to shut down the Kairos Youtube channel was not faultie.

Kairos not deprived of its right to freedom of expression

During the pleadings held in the company court at the end of March, there was a lot of talk about the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If the examination of this question was not addressed as such in this procedure, the point was addressed when studying the balance of interests.

Recalling that Kairos hadother communication channels (a Facebook page, a website and a paper magazine), the court found that Kairos was “not deprived of his right to freedom of expression”. From there, the study of the balance of interests does not justify putting the Youtube channel back online until a decision is made on the merits.

Other arguments developed by Kairos were also rejected by the court. The “anti-productivist media”, explaining that it no longer has access to the content of its channel, estimated that its right to a fair trial had been violated. The court did not follow, considering that Kairos did not clearly identify the data which it would not have and especially that it had not submitted a request to Google in order to obtain them.

Based on the foregoing, the court found that the Kairos request was admissible but unfounded. The channel will not be restored immediately.

The summary

  • The “anti-productivist mediaKairos has brought a legal action against google in an attempt to restore his chain Youtube.
  • Believing that Google’s sanctions were justified, the court did not follow this application.
  • Similarly, the judges held that Kairos did not have not been deprived of his right to freedom of expression.

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