YouTube is condemned in Brazil to remove wildlife hunting videos from its platform

Lawsuit filed by RENCTAS accused the platform of making apology to crime by hosting videos of wild animals being hunted

12-08-22 / Available for immediate release


YouTube was sentenced by the Court of Justice of the Federal District (TJDF) in a Public Civil Action filed by the National Network for Combating Wildlife Trafficking – RENCTAS. In the lawsuit, Renctas accused the platform of promoting crime by showing videos of wild animals being hunted, which is forbidden by Brazilian law. Judge Carlos Frederico Maroja de Medeiros (judge of the Environment, Urban and Land Development Court of the Federal District) gave YouTube a deadline of 24 hours to remove all videos containing wild animal hunting from its website, under penalty of paying a daily fine of US$ 2 thousand. In addition, the sentence also prohibits the platform from adding new videos with the same type of content.

It was a historic victory, which will mark the fight against wild animal hunting in Brazil,” said the general coordinator of Renctas, Dener Giovanini. For him, the court’s decision will create a favorable precedent to prevent other social networks from disseminating hunting videos of the Brazilian fauna and remaining unpunished. “It was not an easy task to face a giant company like YouTube, but our determination was great and the support of the Public Ministry of the DF was fundamental. The sensibility and correctness of the magistrate who judged the action were also decisive“, said Giovanini. According to the lawyer of Renctas, Sonja Pereira da Silva, the rationale of the action promoted by Renctas was important for the Justice to understand the importance of the claim. “When dealing with issues related to technology, as is the case of YouTube, sometimes the main objective of a lawsuit, which in this case is the protection of the Brazilian fauna, ends up becoming a mere formal matter. And we cannot allow this to happen“, says the lawyer from Renctas.

Renctas’ initiative to sue YouTube is not unique. The institution also promoted a petition on the Internet to be sent to the shareholders of Google, which owns YouTube, asking them to change the rules of the platform to prevent animal hunting videos from continuing to be broadcasted. More than 10 thousand people have already signed Renctas’ document, which should be sent in the next days.

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