A former Australian lawmaker was awarded A$715,000 ($515,000) by an Australian court on Monday, claiming that Google's failure to remove a YouTuber's "racist, abusive and defamatory campaign" of videos forced him out of politics.

Google has previously been found liable for defamation, usually for providing links to articles in search results, but Monday's decision is one of the first in which the company was found to be an active publisher of content that defamed an elected public official via YouTube.

The Federal Court determined that Alphabet Inc, which owns YouTube, made money by showing two videos criticizing the then-deputy premier of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, that had been viewed nearly 800,000 times since they were posted in late 2020.

A study of defamation legislation in Australia is looking into whether online platforms should be held liable for defamatory content they host. 

Jordan Shanks, a content producer, allegedly released videos in which he repeatedly calls politician John Barilaro "corrupt" without presenting reliable evidence and insults his Italian ethnicity, which the judge, Steve Rares, called "nothing less than hate speech."

Google and other internet behemoths claim that they can't be expected to monitor every single post. A Google spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

By continuing to publish the video, Google violated its own regulations aimed at safeguarding public figures from being unfairly attacked, according to Rares, and drove Barilaro prematurely from his chosen service in public life and profoundly "traumatized him."

Rares stated that "Google cannot avoid its accountability for the severe damage that Mr. Shanks' campaign created." Barilaro left politics a year after Shanks uploaded the videos.

Shanks, who has 625,000 YouTube subscribers and 346,000 Facebook followers on Meta Platforms' Facebook, was a co-defendant until last year, when the YouTuber agreed to modify the videos and pay the former lawmaker A$100,000.

Shanks, on the other hand, "needs YouTube to distribute his poison (and) Google was eager to join Mr. Shanks in doing so as part of its business strategy," according to the judge.

Shanks continued to publicly insult Barilaro and his lawyers before the action was settled, and the judge threatened to report him and Google to the authorities.

Shanks, who goes by the handle "friendlyjordies" on Facebook, criticized Barilaro following the ruling, writing, "You finally scored the currency from Google... without ever having the truth challenged in court."