Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco is calling an end to President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to limit the influence of social media companies. Last week, Bolsonaro signed a decree banning social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter from deleting posts and accounts. Reuters news agency reported this on Wednesday. Twitter, among others, previously deleted accounts to prevent the spread of disinformation.
According to Pacheco, Bolsonaro’s plan did not meet legal requirements and would create “legal uncertainty”. Bolsonaro needed Senate approval to pass the bill. Earlier, the president said the measure wanted to prevent “arbitrary deletion” of accounts and to protect “free speech”.
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While Bolsonaro seeks to curb the influence of tech companies, the judiciary is trying to curb the spread of disinformation. Judges have ordered tech companies to intervene several times in the past year. For example, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram had to block the payment options of accounts that spread disinformation about the Brazilian electoral system after a court ruling last month. The country will hold presidential elections next year.
Videos from the president’s YouTube channel were also removed in July, as disinformation was shared about the spread of the corona virus. Last year, Twitter and Facebook also removed videos in which Bolsonaro told untruths about the pandemic. The big tech companies, such as Google, Twitter and Facebook, had already spoken out strongly against the president’s plan.