WhatsApp, Facebook And Social Networks Will Be Investigated By Fake News

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WhatsApp: The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) opened, on Monday (8), an investigation into the performance of Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube against misinformation. Social media companies will have ten days to explain how they act to curb the dissemination of material related to public health and democracy in the country.

According to the civil inquiry, initiated by the Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office for Citizens’ Rights in São Paulo, the platforms must respond on the measures taken to detect and combat actions such as the production of false content, sending out mass messages, the use of robots and false profiles.

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Companies will need to deliver updated terms of use documents, content moderation policies and transparency reports. The channels for reporting should also be detailed and what can be considered a rule violation.

With the growing concern of civil society and specialists about the influence of social networks on the deterioration of democratic regimes, the investigation aims to finance false content, putting the health of the population at risk and discrediting democratic institutions. An example of this are campaigns that question the integrity of electronic voting machines and attacks on journalists.

The document asks companies to communicate what investments (including hiring personnel and technical development) have been made, in the last three years, to detect and mitigate organized practices in the production and circulation of content that convey disinformation and digital violence in the country.

Telegram, which does not have legal representation in Brazil, has ignored the contacts of the Electoral Court, which seeks to establish partnerships to combat misinformation in the 2022 elections. The other companies have not yet commented on the inquiry.