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The Brazilian Justice signed an agreement with digital platforms against ‘fake news’ in elections

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) of Brazil formalized this Tuesday an agreement with eight digital platforms to combat disinformation during the 2022 presidential elections, after it had a great impact on the 2018 appointment.

“It is an important moment in Brazilian life and in democratic life. We are all concerned and determined to preserve a free discussion environmentthat preserves certain minimum rules of civility,” said the president of the TSE, Luís Roberto Barroso, in an event broadcast on YouTube.

The agreement was signed by representatives from Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Instagram, YouTube and Kwai. The TSE tried to contact the Telegram platform to add it to this agreement, but had no response, as confirmed to the AFP agency by the communication advisory of the highest court in the country.

These companies promised to collaborate with the TSE through specific tools that will provide users with links to official information and thus combat the proliferation of false news.

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, very active in the networks. Xinhua photo

Measures

There will also be Specific channels for reporting posts containing false information. In the case of Facebook, every time the company receives an alert for possible malicious content, it will be analyzed by a team that may eventually remove it. The WhatsApp messaging service, for its part, will have a specific channel for reporting the sending of illegal mass messages.

With the addition of Kwai, the apps renewed a similar agreement signed for the 2020 municipal elections.

“Messaging applications today have become a great public space (…) we are here, in this society, so we can push the fake news, misinformation and conspiracy theories to the margins of history and allow a higher quality public debate,” added the president of the TSE.

Brazil will hold its presidential election on October 2 and the second round, if necessary, will be on the 30th of the same month. Most polls show a runoff between former president Lula da Silva (2003-2010), the favorite in the polls, and the current president as likely, although the former president of the Workers’ Party has a considerable advantage.

Social networks were a key piece for Bolsonaro in 2018, when he was elected president of Brazil. The president himself carried out a very active campaign on networks, as well as many of his followers, who spread false information about his opponents.

Telegram

The extreme right-winger, an active user of social networks, is currently subject to several investigations for spreading false news. Platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook took action against some of his posts, while the president tries to concentrate as many followers as possible on Telegram.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, favorite for the presidential.  Reuters photo

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, favorite for the presidential. Reuters photo

This platform is under the microscope of justice to be accused of lack of collaboration to moderate disinformation.

President Bolsonaro described last month as “cowardice” the possibility that the electoral court will ban Telegram.

Barroso admitted in an interview published with the newspaper Or Balloon last Sunday that the justice evaluates prohibiting the application on the eve of the presidential elections.

Source: AFP and EFE

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