Nearshore Americas
Brazil social media

Bolsonaro Blocks Twitter and Facebook from Removing Content

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has issued a decree aiming to strip social media firms of their powers to remove content.

Under the order, firms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, should wait for a court order before suspending any account and removing content.

However, there are some exceptions. They can remove the content immediately if they found it containing nudity, or encouraging drug use and violence.

The decree comes weeks after the social media firms repeatedly removed Bolsonaro’s videos that pushed unproven drugs as coronavirus cures.

Bolsonaro, a close ally of former US President Donald Trump, stated that social media firms cannot judge all content and take decisions to remove them.

Both Twitter and Facebook suspended the count of Donald Trump, after accusing him of spreading disinformation.

The Brazilian president says the new regulation would help protect freedom of speech. But waiting for a court order to remove certain content is unimaginable, say analysts.

Last year, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered Facebook to block the accounts of dozens of Bolsonaro’s allies after it found them spreading misinformation.

The decree gives 30 days for media platforms to update their policies. Failure to do so will lead the government to penalize them heavily.

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Neither Twitter nor YouTube has confirmed whether they would abide by the new regulations.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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