The ads running were on 1% of the site according to Google Inc. and were part of a testing phase to see how ads would perform on the social network. The Wall Street Journal reported that complaints were filed by a Brazilian nonprofit group called SaferNet saying that some of the user pages on Orkut contained child pornography and other types of illegal content. Google contends that when it becomes aware of such images and content it removes them from the site.
Brazil is the largest advertising market in Latin America and this current legal issue is another of many before it involving the country. The report in the Journal continued that last year Brazilian prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Google, ordering the company to release specific data in compliance with judicial orders.
There have been a number of social networks getting flack for their lack of safety procedures. Advertisers have found it to be a gamble since there is usually no telling which user’s pages ads will appear on. Facebook has been in the news for similar accusations. The power of the volume of users to social networks and the freedom that these users have gives the site owners, at the risk of sounding cliché, a tremendous amount of responsibility to those users and their advertising clients.