Edson Fachin, the president of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal, has announced that from now on, any person in the country who wins an election but is caught sharing “disinformation” online will have that win stripped and nullified.
As Brazil prepares for upcoming presidential, legislative, and regional elections this fall, Fachin reiterated that only politicians who tow the official line on various issues will be allowed to “win” elections. Everyone else will be shooed out of politics.
“We are hugely concerned about the spread of disinformation, especially on the social networks,” Fachin is quoted as saying. “The court is attentive and we’ve already adopted some preventive measures with the view that distorted information is fought with correct information.”
“But, if it’s necessary to get to the point of sanctioning some behaviors, the court will not refuse to exercise its punitive authority.”
Fachin’s remarks came after President Jair Bolsonaro was accused of sharing “false” information on social media about how Brazil’s electronic voting system is wrought with fraud. According to Fachin, such a claim is fake news and will no longer be allowed.
“When, as per its jurisdictional function, the court receives a complaint and it is demonstrated that a specific candidate engaged in deeds that he knew were false, he will be subject to the electoral code rule characterizing that conduct as a crime and this can result in the loss of his office as punishment,” Fauchin added in a statement.
“The court receives the complaint, opens the process, listens to the defense and later makes a judgment, just as was done last year with legislators who engaged in that practice and lost their offices after their elections were declared null and void.”
Just like the U.S., Brazil is exploiting social media platforms to fight “disinformation”
Like many countries these days, Brazil is struggling economically due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. As a major importer of fertilizer, Brazil is not getting enough of it due to sanctions.
Candidates for Brazil’s upcoming election are likely to speak out about the issue from varying perspectives, some of which could be considered “disinformation,” effectively disqualifying them from winning.
The official narrative is that Russia is evil and never should have invaded Ukraine. The unofficial narrative is that Ukraine has been harboring U.S.-NATO run bioweapons laboratories that had to be dismantled by the Russian Federation to protect the country having this blight near its borders.
Depending on what is considered “true” and “false” in Brazil, one wrong move or statement could render certain candidates’ wins this October as null and void, based on the new policy, though Fachin says it is primarily targeting “untrue” statements about the country’s electoral system.
“The attacks on the electoral process within that disinformation environment concern us,” he claimed, adding that the electoral court has launched a campaign to fight disinformation through partnerships with social media networks, digital media groups, and various political parties.
“We launched an intensive and extensive program to combat disinformation that involves a collection of agreements with about 100 entities, including digital media outlets and social networks that have adopted policies of integrity without threatening the right to freedom of expression.”
Fachin went on to suggest that his group represents the “institutional arbiters for monitoring compliance with the rules,” adding that he is “not in the corner of any (particular) candidate.”
Fachin is especially upset about the Telegram app, which he says is highly “concerning” because it is used to spread “fake news.”
“We’re discussing integrity measures with the Telegram vice president,” Fachin said. “It was one of the last platforms to join but the results obtained to date are significant.”
More related news about Brazil’s election system can be found at Rigged.news.
Sources for this article include: