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Bolsonaro issues decree against “arbitrary deletion” of content on social networks – RT en français

The Brazilian president wants to limit the reasons justifying the deletion of content and accounts on the networks. For Facebook, “this temporary measure significantly limits the ability to restrict abuse on our platforms.”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree on September 6 aimed at combating “the arbitrary and unjustified deletion of accounts, profiles and content by suppliers”, according to the government’s Communication Secretariat. The text must still be approved by Congress before being effective.

In the meantime, this new provision sets out the type of content whose deletion – and the suspension of users – would come under a “just cause” (such as the commission of crimes, violence), and imposes new protocols on platforms to apply these suspensions. Himself a victim of content withdrawals for dissemination of information on Covid-19 deemed false, Jair Bolsonaro described as “censorship” the suspension of accounts or the deletion of content that the platforms have applied against him and some of his supports.

Pro and anti-Bolsonaro protests on September 7

A Facebook spokesperson assured AFP that “this provisional measure [limitait] significantly the ability to restrict abuses on our platforms ”, and that“ several specialists and lawyers […] [affirmaient] that the proposal violates constitutional rights and guarantees ”.

In this sense, Alessandro Molon, opposition deputy and rapporteur in 2014 of a text framing the regulation of the Internet in Brazil, assured that he was preparing an appeal to invalidate the presidential decree: “Its objective is not not to protect freedom of expression, MCI already does. What he wants is to prevent the disinformation and hate speech that he and his supporters disseminate from continuing to be removed from the platforms, ”explained the parliamentarian.

Jair Bolsonaro took this decree on the eve of a special day. Demonstrations in support of the Brazilian head of state are planned in the main cities of the country on September 7 on the occasion of the national holiday, at the same time as opposition rallies. A “high risk bet” on the part of the president, writes the conservative daily O Estado de S. Paulo, which judges Bolsonaro under pressure of economic and health crisis.

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