Google Ireland faces High Court action over refusal to remove YouTube videos

7 August 2021

A BUSINESSMAN WHO claims he has been the victim of a campaign of defamation by a YouTube account is pursuing Google Ireland through the High Court in a bid to have the videos taken down.

Kheir Allab is suing for damages for defamation and seeking an order directing Google Ireland to remove and/or refrain from publishing these videos which are posted on a YouTube channel.

He has already secured a Swiss court order for the removal of some of the videos, but his solicitor Paul Tweed said the videos were reposted on the account shortly afterwards.

Allab is seeking an order requiring Google Ireland to remove any republication or partial republication of the videos within 48 hours upon being notified. Criminal libel proceedings have also been issued in France, where some of the videos were published. 

Now Allab is taking action through Ireland’s High Court, as the company’s European headquarters are located here. 

Speaking to The Journal, Tweed said his client had done “everything that could possibly be expected” of him, including suing the individual who posted the videos in Switzerland and France. 

“YouTube insists on court orders and Google is, in my opinion, grossly unfair to put it mildly in insisting that a plaintiff has to go to each jurisdiction where there’s publication,” he said.

“How can the ordinary man in the street possibly afford the financial cost of going to Switzerland, France and Ireland to stop the dissemination of defamatory allegations that spread like wildfire within minutes of publication?”

Tweed said this is “a case for our times” and will be a “critically important precedent case” for both the Irish courts and the government.

“We are housing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc and there has to be a degree of responsibility,” he said. “While it’s very welcome that international companies are here, they cannot and should not expect to be treated differently.”

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