Telegram has publicly expressed its opposition to Brazil’s Fake News Bill (Bill 2.630/2020), echoing Google’s previous stance on the matter. The platform claims that the proposed legislation grants the government censorship power and threatens the modern internet. Telegram also draws parallels between the bill and the Federal Court’s decision to suspend the app.
Telegram’s Stance on the Fake News Bill
In their statement, Telegram alleges that “democracy is under attack in Brazil.” They argue that the Fake News Bill will give the government undue censorship power, although the legislation does not explicitly grant the executive branch this authority. Instead, the bill mandates that companies must moderate criminal content on their platforms, in line with the Brazilian Penal Code and other relevant laws.
Content Moderation and Responsibility
Telegram contends that this Bill will give apps judicial powers, but the legislation only calls for content moderation. The bill does not regulate private conversations but does require transparency and moderation on social networks. Platforms will need to invest in teams to moderate published content, which may result in increased costs for these companies.
Telegram’s Reluctance to Moderate Content and Fake News Bill
The messaging platform’s statement demonstrates its reluctance to take responsibility for user-generated content. The Bill, authored by Senator Alessandro Vieira (PSDB/SE), emphasizes the need for social networks to moderate illegal content that violates Brazilian laws. However, Telegram seems more concerned about the potential financial burden of content moderation than preventing harmful content from spreading.
Disagreement with Google and Meta
Telegram’s statement concludes by citing Google and Meta’s opposition to the Fake News Bill. However, both companies have since distanced themselves from Telegram’s stance. Meta issued a statement refuting Telegram’s use of its name and denying the allegations in the text. Similarly, Google communicated that they were mentioned without authorization and do not recognize the content of the statement.
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The controversy surrounding the Fake News Bill in Brazil highlights the ongoing debate over content moderation and platform responsibility. As Telegram opposes the bill, other tech giants like Google and Meta take more nuanced positions on the matter. Furthermore, the outcome of this legislative process will shape the future of content moderation and the balance between freedom of expression and platform accountability in Brazil.