Following the 2020 presidential election in the U.S., Facebook was accused of amplifying misinformation and offensive speech that contributed in part to the violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Now, global nonprofit group SumOfUs is accusing the company of allowing similar bad actors to flourish in Brazil.
According to a report from the group, Facebook is failing to stop calls for violence on the platform and the spread of content undermining the integrity of upcoming Brazilian elections. Disturbingly, much of this content is featured in ads that Facebook has not detected or removed.
“This is January 6th all over again — Meta is actively helping mobilize an online army in Brazil that’s peddling conspiracy theories about the integrity of the election and threatening a violent coup,” misinformation expert and SumOfUs campaign director Flora Rebello Arduini said. “Regulators the world over need to take urgent action, or we’ll only see these kinds of attacks on democracy intensify.”
SumOfUs also called on Facebook to step up its content moderation efforts, hiring moderators who are familiar with the political situation on the ground. They also called for greater transparency in the company’s efforts. Of course, Facebook has no obligation to listen to these recommendations, so it’s doubtful the social media giant will do anything to change. But it’s still a good thing that it’s getting called out regardless.
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