Senate strikes down Bolsonaro’s social media decree

As expected, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco struck down a provisional decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro last week changing social media regulations. According to the president’s office, the piece of legislation limited the “arbitrary removal” of accounts, profiles, and content by platforms.

Provisional decrees must legislate on urgent matters only, and Mr. Pacheco deemed this was not the case. He added that the decree unilaterally changed Brazil’s internet legal framework without allowing proper discussions.

Back in March, non-profit news organizations revealed that the government paid digital influencers to tout unproven treatments against the coronavirus. In recent months, social media platforms began increasing their scrutiny of the president’s posts — as well as of channels owned by his supporters. Fearing bans — as well as to avoid drawing the attention of Senate investigations — many began deleting videos containing misinformation.

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