Brazil Orders Google to Halt Campaign Against Speech Bill
Carla Bridi and Eléonore Hughes, Associated Press, May 2, 2023
Brazil’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday ordered Google to stop conducting what it called a propaganda campaign against Brazilian legislation aimed at curbing misinformation, or face about $200,000 per hour in fines.
The company later Tuesday took down an article the ministry had labeled propaganda, but it was not immediately clear if the big tech giant was in complete compliance with the agency’s order. The ministry and Google did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
The legislation, hotly contested by big tech companies including Google, would establish fines and deadlines for removing misinformation and hate speech from social media and messaging apps, and require tech companies to file reports on transparency.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government says it is essential to regulate online discourse following a recent spate of fatal school attacks that officials argue was motivated by hate speech and social media forums. The bill was sent to the lower chamber on Friday and may be voted on this week.
Last week, Telegram was suspended by a judge after the messaging app refused to send information on profiles which spread Nazi speech. A few days later, another decision canceled the suspension.