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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a new decree that will prevent social media platforms from removing content and user accounts.
Bolsonaro argued that the said measure was taken to “prevent the indiscriminate deletion of profiles on platforms” and would serve to protect freedom of expression.
During the coronavirus epidemic, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook deleted numerous messages from Brazilian President Bolsonaro and his supporters for “spreading false information”.
The video-sharing platform YouTube also deleted 15 videos of Jair Bolsonaro in July for spreading false information about the coronavirus.
Bolsonaro’s presidential office argues that the new decree seeks to clarify the powers of social media companies over content. As a result, companies will need to provide “valid reasons and motives” before removing content or an account from the platform.
However, we do not know how the law will be applied. The move was announced just before large-scale rallies of Bolsonaro supporters across Brazil.
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Bolsonaro supporters will protest against the decision of the country’s Supreme Court and the National Congress to investigate Bolsonaro on grounds such as “spreading false information”. It is criticized that these protests, which coincide with September 7, which is celebrated as the country’s independence day, “threaten democracy”.
Due to the removal of many of its posts and videos from the platforms, Bolsonaro is directing its subscribers to channels such as Telegram and Parler.
Bolsonaro’s YouTube channel offers weekly state-of-the-art talks and talks with his ministers on a variety of topics. Some of the channel’s content is broadcast live.
The video-sharing platform YouTube has deleted 15 videos of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the grounds that they disseminate disinformation about the coronavirus.
In the statement made by YouTube, it was noted that the decision was not ideological or political, but related to content policy.
In one of the videos, Eduardo Pazuello, the former Brazilian Minister of Health, compared the coronavirus to AIDS. “HIV continues to exist,” Pazuello says.
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In another video, a Brazilian doctor recommends the controversial drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19. Brazilian leader Bolsonaro was also among the strong supporters of hydroxychloroquine.
YouTube announced that it does not allow content in which these drugs are presented as an effective treatment method. However, videos claiming that wearing a mask does not help prevent the virus are also removed from the platform.
Twitter and Facebook deleted videos last year in which the Brazilian leader opposes social distancing measures and says the high number of cases will ensure social immunity in Brazil.
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