TSE blocks YouTube revenue from pocketbook channels for misinformation | Legislation

The Inspector General of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Minister Luis Felipe Salomão, ordered the YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms to suspend the revenue of pocketnaristas channels investigated for disseminating disinformation about electronic voting machines and the Brazilian electoral system. The magistrate responded to a request made based on the analysis of the Federal Police’s investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro’s allegations made in a live at the end of July.


Headquarters of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) in Brasília, in the Federal District (Image: Roque de Sá/Agência Senado)

TSE: decision reaches pocket-book channels, such as Free Tuesday

The TSE minister’s decision responds to a request made by the Federal Police delegate, Denise Dias Rosa, to institute precautionary measures in the investigation that investigates accounts that are part of the disinformation network that has been attacking the Electoral Court.

The decision affects channels allied with the president, such as Terça Livre, by blogger Alan dos Santos, investigated in two different inquiries in the Supreme Court: one investigating a network of influencers linked to the Planalto to disseminate disinformation, and another on anti-democratic acts in favor of the president Jair Bolsonaro. Minister Alexandre de Moraes is the rapporteur of both investigations. Before, YouTube itself had banned the channel from the platform, but it, at the time of this publication, is reactivated.

Along with Terça Livre, other channels and pockets of profiles had their monetization interrupted: blogger Oswaldo Eustáquio, and the hyper-partisan websites Folha Politics and Jornal da Cidade.

In addition to investigating the dissemination of fake news, the PF also investigates the use of digital platforms to abuse financial and economic power, corruption, fraud, and misuse of communication channels.

YouTube and Facebook to block revenue from lives

The Inspector General of the TSE also ordered the blocking of the transfer of values ​​from the monetization arising from lives; the platforms must inform the General Electoral Internal Affairs Office of the individual revenue of the channels, profiles and pages investigated by September 6th.

In the order, Luis Felipe Salomão determined that platforms regulate the algorithm — such as YouTube’s recommendation or Facebook’s suggestion tool — to prevent the indication of channels that talk about politics to users, with the exception of free search on these sites. According to the minister, this measure is aimed at limiting the “reciprocal” growth of the channels targeted by the investigation, and preventing the circulation of fake news.


The Inspector General of the TSE, Luis Felipe Salomao (Image: TSE/Publishing)

At the end, the minister of the TSE orders all platforms and social networks to identify the authors of the posts investigated, “which could be decisive for clarifying the facts and authorship of the contents”.

Platform members must meet PF staff

Representatives of the networks involved in the investigation — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube — should meet with technical teams from the TSE and the Federal Police. However, the date of the meeting was not set by the electoral court.

For Luis Felipe Salomão, the PF delegate narrates in great detail the “modus operandi” of the channels to disseminate disinformation and influence the voter, aiming to obtain “partisan political” advantages:

“In fact, in most of the analyzed content, what is found is not the transmission of legitimate criticism or the proposal of solutions to improve the electoral process – fully guaranteed to citizens and the media -, but the promotion of complaints and false news about frauds in the electronic voting system, which, however, have already been exhaustively refuted in view of their manifest groundlessness, including by the Federal Police itself.”

With information: Superior Electoral Court

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