Brazil: Brazil is going to regulate monetized content on the Internet

The Brazilian government is looking into whether to regulate internet platforms with revenue-generating content such as advertisingits secretary for digital policy, Joao Brant, said Friday.

The idea would be for the regulator to hold the responsibility for monetized content on such platforms rather than consumers, Brant told Reuters.

Another goal is to “prevent networks from being used to spread and promote crime and illegal content”, especially after the riots by supporters of the former far-right president. Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil in January, fueled by misinformation about an election he lost in October.

Brant said the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also intends to hold companies accountable for stopping disinformation, hate speech and other crimes on their soil. social media platforms. Platforms will not be held accountable for content in isolation, but for how hard they protect the “digital environment,” he said in an interview.

Brant did not elaborate on what the regulator would look like, but said the government wants to regulate monetized content and prevent platforms from spreading misinformation.

“What this body will do is to see if the platforms are doing their job well, not to deal with individual content posted by users. This should be at the discretion of the courts,” he said.

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Brant did not specify what role the judiciary would play in combating misinformation. Any proposal would require changes to the legal framework of the 2014 law, known as the “Marco Civil”, which governs the Internet in Brazil and protect user rights.

Section 19 of the law exempts platforms from legal liability “for damages resulting from content created by third parties” unless there is a specific court order to remove the content.

For Brant, the current structure “creates an incentive for platforms not to care about public space for debate.”

He said the lack of responsibility for content that is promoted, monetized, or presented as advertising needs to be revisited, adding: “It’s very bad for them not to have any responsibility for this content.”

The Brazilian Supreme Court has been debating the constitutionality of Article 19 since 2017 based on a lawsuit filed by Meta Platforms Inc Meta, the owner of Facebook and WhatsApp.

Meta has questioned its liability for removing content without a court order in the fake Facebook profile case. The court has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for March 28.

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