Business and Management
Submitted By hokiepluto
Google’s Okrut In Brazil The social networking phenomenon went international when Google’s social networking site, Orkut, reached vast popularity in Latin America, especially Brazil. Though Google’s popularity created new and unexpected opportunities for the company internationally, there was a darker side to their rise to fame. There were claims that Orkut was being used for Internet trafficking, pedophilia, and child pornography. Advertisers began to retract their advertisements when they heard that they were appearing next to illegal content on Google’s site. Google’s general director in Brazil was facing charges for refusing to hand over Orkut’s user data to the police. Google was losing the balancing act of satisfying the combined interests of their users, advertisers, and authorities, while ensuring they maintained consistent revenues. There were numerous issues that influenced the illegal activities performed on Orkut, as well as its failure. The most basic underlying issue that Google ignored was Brazil’s societal problems. Brazil has the highest levels of socio-economic inequality, which contributes to the statistic that more than 80% of Brazilians are concentrated in urban areas. In these urban areas, called favelas, there is a surplus of crime, which results in numerous armed conflicts between police and drug gangs. Additionally, Brazil is plagued with police and prison violence, torture, and extra-judicial killings. Ethnic tensions and a wide gap socioeconomic gap largely contribute to the escalation of crime. This violence is an underground challenge to the government. This is crucial to recognize when working with Brazil internationally because crimes can easily take a different form online. The issue of Brazil’s Internet policies and laws is another main contributor to the problems with Orkut. Brazilians were extremely passionate about the Internet and this influenced a large and fast increase in Internet usage in their country. Unfortunately, internet laws were not well defined or developed in Brazil. For this reason, Brazil was having a difficult time keeping online legislation up with its rapid growth. As a result, the Internet had become a haven for crimes committed online. Another issue regarded the absent reactions of Google to the illegal acts committed on Orkut. Though the accusations of illegal activity kept increasing, Google ignored attempts made by Tavares to try to use SaferNet to track human rights violations online. Google’s Brazil office provided no response regarding these accusations until civil and criminal proceedings were formalized against them. They were also asked to give the Internet Protocol information, access logs, and registration details of users committing crimes of pedophilia and racism on Orkut. Despite this, Google refused to hand over the data, claiming that it was not directly subject to Brazilian law. U.S. laws were very strict and would not allow Google to reveal private communications without the explicit consent of the user. A difference in legislation also presented a problem. Only hate crimes but not racist speeches were prosecuted in the U.S. Google’s revenue soon began to feel a backlash. Advertisers on the the Okrut site began to retract their business after hearing that their ads were alongside pictures of illegal and undesirable photos. The combination of Google’s lack of compliance, as well as inconsistency in international legislation, ignited the flame that destroyed Okrut. Once Google was forced to comply with court orders, the mission to end the Okrut crimes presented further issues.…...