BRASILIA, Sept. 14 (Reuters) – Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said on Tuesday he would not consider President Jair Bolsonaro’s decree limiting the power of social media to remove content, killing a measure that had met with widespread acceptance. opposition from the tech giants.
Pacheco said Bolsonaro’s temporary measure, which required congressional approval to become law, did not comply with regulatory requirements and introduced “considerable legal uncertainty.”
Brazilian federal justice, which is investigating fake news in the country, has tried to eliminate online outfits that critics accuse of spreading disinformation, forcing major tech players such as Google’s YouTube (GOOGL.O) to to act.
Bolsonaro signed the decree amending Internet regulations to combat the “arbitrary deletion” of accounts, profiles and content ahead of a large political rally last week.
The executive order was intended to protect “freedom of speech,” the president’s office said at the time. But that generated a significant pullback in Brazil, with Google, Facebook (FB.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) all speaking out against the measure.
The move is another setback for Bolsonaro, who is down in the polls after overseeing the world’s second deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. He grapples with rising inflation and a weak economy in the run-up to a 2022 presidential election whose integrity he has questioned.
But he still maintains a dedicated fan base and can count on the rock-solid support of a wide constellation of outfits online.
Last month, YouTube suspended payments to content producers for 14 channels that the country’s Federal Election Court accused of broadcasting false information about next year’s election.
Days earlier, the Inspector General of Electoral Justice had ordered YouTube, Twitch.TV, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to halt payments to people and pages that spread misinformation about the Brazilian electoral system.
Bolsonaro’s own content has also been targeted. In July, YouTube said it removed videos from Bolsonaro’s channel for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak. Twitter and Facebook removed videos of Bolsonaro last year for violating their terms of service after making unfounded claims about the pandemic.
Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello Writing by Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Brad Haynes, Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall
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