Youtube videos

John Barilaro wins $715,000 payout over ‘vulgar’ Friendlyjordies YouTube videos

Former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro was awarded $715,000 in libel damages for two YouTube videos directed by comedian Jordan Shanks and posted on the Friendlyjordies YouTube channel.

Federal Court Judge Stephen Rares on Monday, the videos subjected the former Monaro deputy to a “tirelessly”, “racist” and “offensive” online campaign.

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Judge Rares told the Federal Court that Shanks, under the pseudonym Friendly Jordansran a “relentless cyber-harassment” campaign against Barilaro who “caused him to leave the public service prematurely”.

“Although Mr. Shanks presents himself as a comedian, his repeated use of these terms was not comedic,” said the judge.

“It was nothing less than racist hate speech.”

– Rare Justice

The ruling found that Google failed to enforce its own policies by doing “nothing to prevent hate speech, cyberbullying and harassment of Mr. Shanks” of Barilaro.

In a statement to the courts, Barilaro said the repeated use of the word “wog”, “greasy” and “mud ballsparked traumatic school years, where he suffered racist abuse because of his Italian heritage.

“I grew up with the word ‘wog’ and ‘dago’,” he said.

“I used to go to school in elementary school and start the day with a bang because they called me a ‘wog’.

“Anyone who wants to use the word ‘wog’ and thinks it doesn’t offend, well ‘wog’ wasn’t used as a term of endearment, I grew up with that,” he said.

After the judgment, Barilaro said the ruling brings welcome closure.

“It ends a difficult time for me and I couldn’t have come to this without the support of my family, friends and colleagues,” Barilaro said.

“All I wanted initially was for Google to remove these videos and they refused. It’s no small feat for an individual to take on a company like Google, but it was important that I do it.”

– Mr. Barilaro

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