The Internet was built on freedom of expression. Society wants someone held accountable when that freedom is abused. And major Internet companies like Google and Facebook are finding themselves caught between those ideals. Such may have been the case when three Google executives were convicted in Milan, Italy on February 24 over a bullying video posted on the site -- a verdict greeted with horror by online activists, who fear it could open the gates to such prosecutions and ultimately destroy the Internet itself.
Matt Sucherman, a Google vice president and general counsel, wrote in a blog post that the company was "deeply troubled" by the case, saying it "attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built."