Facebook parent company Meta and Google’s video network YouTube said on January 9 that they were banning information promoting or applauding anti-democratic protestors’ looting of Brazilian government facilities over the weekend.
During a three-hour assault, tens of thousands of fans of the far-right former president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, damaged the windows of the presidential palace, flooded areas of Congress with a sprinkler system, and looted the Supreme Court.
A spokesperson for Meta stated, “Prior to the election, we labeled Brazil as a temporary high-risk zone and have started deleting information urging people to pick up guns or violently occupy Congress, the Presidential palace, and other government facilities.”
“We are also classifying this as a violation, which means we will delete any content that endorses or applauds these activities,” he stated. We will continue to remove information that violates our standards and are carefully monitoring the issue.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva entered office on January 1 after beating Bolsonaro in a runoff election in October, bringing an end to Brazil’s most conservative administration in decades.
Bolsonaro refused to acknowledge loss, and some of his followers said that the election was rigged. Protests were organized on social media and messaging platforms like Twitter, Telegram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook.
YouTube is “closely monitoring” the situation in Brazil, where social media networks have been instructed to remove individuals accused of aiding the assault, according to a YouTube spokeswoman who spoke with Reuters.
The representative stated, “Our Trust and Safety team is deleting content that violates our Community Guidelines, such as livestreams and films encouraging violence.”
“Additionally, our technologies display authoritative information prominently on our site, at the top of search results, and in recommendations. We will maintain vigilance as the situation evolves.”
A Telegram official stated that the private messaging service was collaborating with the Brazilian authorities and fact-checking organizations to prevent the spread of violent information.
“Telegram is a platform that fosters free expression and nonviolent protest. However, calls to violence are strictly prohibited on our site,” a spokeswoman stated.
Our moderators utilize a mix of proactive monitoring and user reporting to remove objectionable content from public-facing areas of our site.
TikTok and Twitter did not reply to calls for comment immediately.
The October layoffs that followed Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter included eight staffers who handled trending topics and helped provide context to messages that had been labeled as false, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Messages viewed by Reuters during the week indicated that members of such organizations were planning meeting spots in many towns around the nation, from which chartered vehicles would depart for Brasilia in order to seize public buildings.
When supporters of former US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol two years ago, social media corporations were condemned for not doing enough. Facebook and Alphabet’s YouTube have stated that they are striving to remove false election and voting material.