The Italian government recently drafted a decree that would require owners of social media sites to review all videos posted on their sites in order to screen out any content that could be harmful to minors, including pornography and excessive violence. Internet providers would be required to shut down any site that does not comply with the decree, or face fines ranging from €150 to €150,000 (approximately $210 to $210,860 USD).
The decree inherently challenges the business models of social media sites such as YouTube that allow users to upload videos without any review by the site owners. Opponents of the decree say that it would erode freedom of expression and make it burdensome — if not impossible — to monitor what consumers post on the internet. Google and other companies are working with the government to change the scope of the decree.
Although the internet makes it easy for American companies to promote their brands across borders, stories like this one — as well as recent news about internet censorship in China — demonstrate that just because a promotion may be lawful in the United States does not mean that it will be lawful in other countries. Check with your legal counsel before running a promotion outside of the United States.