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Montevideo, October 20th 2018 - 09:22 UTC

Brazil looking to implement rules to reduce fake news ahead of next year's election

Friday, November 10th 2017 - 00:48 UTC
Full article 25 comments

As other countries and companies such as Facebook try to deal with fake news and online manipulation issues, Brazil is looking to implement rules to reduce the deluge of false stories that could mislead voters. The country's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) is looking at ways to monitor fake news in next year's presidential elections as well as holding politicians accountable for fraudulent digital campaigns. Read full article


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  • Jack Bauer

    The TSE would do well by monitoring the free political propaganda, pushed down the population's throat about 3 or 4 times per week, on prime TV time, during which the biggest lies are told by unscrupulous polticians who only care about disinforming the ignorant and filling their pockets. Getting rid of this, which costs the taxpayer R$ 1 billion per year, would be a good start.

    Nov 10th, 2017 - 05:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Getting rid of fake news sounds good but who can you trust to decide what is real and what is fake? I wouldn't want to hand that power to any government.

    Possibly banning bots as the article mentions would be a reasonable measure, but that would not do much to solve the problem.

    Welcome back, did you have a good holiday?

    Nov 10th, 2017 - 05:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    What's going on, on a daily basis in Brasilia; boils down to nothing less than the “Fake Democracy” in action! Having said that, whatever the masses will finally get, will be the leftovers of the “Fake Justifications”, as the result of the “Fake Elections”!

    Nov 10th, 2017 - 10:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Agree, fake news on the internet is virtually impossible to stop, boiling down to the individual responsibility of checking facts before believing them, or passing on....but when politicians appear on TV, telling outright lies - which any sensible person immediately recognizes as such - that is when the installed authority , namely the TSE, show how useless they are. On the other hand, would think that the parties and/or other politicians that are affected by the lies, seems to do nothing about it....sad fact is that the system is rotten, and nothing short of scrubbing it and starting from zero, will solve our problems.

    Thanks for asking DT, holiday was quite good. NYC as always, with all its attractions, dining etc, was great. Nashville too, with all the live country music, chicken fingers and beer , is always entertaing, and Miami, if one excludes all the rain (soon after the huricanes), was just to take it easy and relax....and do a bit of shopping - very cheap !

    Nov 11th, 2017 - 07:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “but when politicians appear on TV, telling outright lies”

    That's the problem though, who decides what is true? The courts perhaps, but there have been enough examples of them misusing their powers and showing bias. I'm inclined to say it's better to allow politicians to lie on TV than to stop them telling truths that others want to hide. However, if large numbers of people are stupid enough to believe blatent lies, it does undermine democracy. Seems these days people choose what they want to believe by what sources they get their news from, or vice versa.

    Glad you had a good holiday, and even more glad you missed the hurricanes; they've been really nasty this year. Is Miami really cheaper than Sao Paulo? That's surprising, developing countries are usually very cheap.

    Nov 11th, 2017 - 10:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    The NEW Face:

    Nov 12th, 2017 - 10:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “That's the problem though, who decides what is true?”.........don't think it's a matter of deciding 'what' is true, as there is only one truth, and it's up to the individual to not allow himself to be fooled...problem is that the masses either aren't interested in the truth or don't have the means with which to check the various 'versions' of the truth thrown around irresponsibly, or are just gullible to an extreme.

    One good example, is what the PT did before the 2010 elections (Dilma's first term) and more recently in the 2014 elections (Dilma's second term) : their TV propaganda, most of which was just wishful thinking and attacking the opposition, focused on instilling fear into the poor by telling them that all social benefits would be taken away if the opposition won the elections...despite the opposition making a point of telling everyone - very clearly - that they considered the social benefits/rights sacred, and no rights would be was useless, the majority of the poor didn't bother to check whether it was the truth or a lie, and the well, we know the result...Dilma won by the skin of her teeth, and that, by counting roughly 30 million votes by the poor who believed the PT lies. The outright lies, those that defy common sense, are far more obvious than the discrete manipulation of the truth into plausible possibilities. In educated societies, the people will usually see through the lies, and politicians who only have that to sell, won't get very far.

    The US is cheaper than Brazil....even considering the exchange rate. Most likely because the consumer is generally better informed, competition is strong and taxes are a fraction of what they are here. It's even comparatively cheaper for the Americans, than Brazil is for the Brazilians.

    Nov 13th, 2017 - 01:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “there is only one truth”

    Maybe, but we don't always know what it is. Like, what kind of education system works best? Should interest rates be raised or lowered? Is it better to set tariffs on imports or allow free trade?

    And some things are more a matter of opinion; is it better to have a minimal welfare state or a generous one? And more controversially, were Dilma and co idealists fighting for a better country, or terrorists?

    But even for things most people agree on, do you want to ban anyone who disagrees from talking about it? For example, if candidate Trump wants to go on TV and claim Obama was born in Kenya, should he be required to prove it, or at least produce some evidence other than his own suspicions, before he is allowed to do so?

    Your example of social benefits is an interesting one, as I suppose even if the opposition was promising to keep them, people are entitled to disbelieve them. But the voters ought to know what all the parties are saying in order to make a good decision, so maybe the answer is to make sure all (major) parties can get airtime to explain their policies.

    Incidentally, did the benefits and rights they promised to keep include pensions? Or the rights for labour and unions?

    I guess people are more likely to see through the lies in educated societies, and the fact no party seems to give a high priority to education is rather telling. But even when people are educated they can still be taken in, especially if someone is telling them what they want to hear. People were reasonably well educated in 1930s Germany, but they were also desperate, and resentful about losing WWI and the Treaty of Versailles.

    Nov 13th, 2017 - 08:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • MarkWhelan

    Thank you for the perfect example of “Fake News”.
    Where did you get it?
    How much more can you find?
    But most important . Do I really care about your “Fake News”?
    The answer to the last is No.
    Why? Because I have brain enough to not believe everything I read.

    Have a nice day.

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 02:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    Have a nice day too
    and better believe in Santa!

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 05:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That is not fake news, that's satire. Please stop believing everything you read. ;)

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 06:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    O seu exemplo de 'fake news', está, obviamente, tirando sarro da reforma trabalhista ; quem se dá ao trabalho de ler os seus pontos principais, pode verificar que o governo atendeu muito do que os próprios trabalhadores reivindicavam há tempos..mas sempre haverá quem é contra tudo, mesmo quando é bom...ex: o PT.
    Basically, a collection of lies - don't know whether to laugh or shrug my shoulders - but there are always going to be idiots who believe such obvious crap.

    :o))'s 'fake news' is obviously Mark Whelan said, “ a perfect example...” of whatever you want to call it...but it's contents are undoubtedly pure, unadulterated sh*t, written by a joker (or rather, a wanker, as it's misleading), and unfortunately believed by many stupid people in this country.

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 09:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I can't read it anyway, but I daresay the bit about corruption is accurate. Actually, what does 'pregresso' mean in the 'Governo Federal' section? I thought it was progress, but then I remembered it's 'progresso' on your flag.

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 10:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))!image/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/main-charges-resize_620/image.JPG
    REF: “Fake News”:
    The news changes for moment-to-moment basis: One moment a Parasite is guilty and the next moment he/she is innocent! So what's the [CONVENIENT] Truth?

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 11:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Sorry, got caught up in the 'fake news, satire, whatever“ and forgot to reply to yr previous post ,“there is only one truth” Maybe, but we don't always know what it is. :”

    Since we're talking about the truth, and that there is ONLY ONE truth, it comes down to the individual to check whatever version is being spun, to find out whether it's credible or not. Most sensible people will suspect if they are being told something which sounds to good to be true, or plain ridiculous.
    As to yr examples, interest rates and/or tarrifs, sound economic principles, adapted to the reality at the time, should dictate decisions of economic nature. That obviously excludes populist decisions which in my opinion, are taken in order to extend the life of economic policy that should not have been put into practice in the first place. Populism in economics never solved anything, except certain situations in the very short term. Politicians who put their money where their mouths are, will usually make less mistakes, unless they are stupid.
    I am not in favour of banning free speech, putting your opinion out there, but that does not include telling an outright lie , such as the PT claiming they were the sponsors of the Plano Real (which curbed inflation in 1994); The PT actually voted 100% against it....but many ignorant people believed them. Anyone who has followed Brazilian politics for decades knows damned well that no government would, or even could, do away with 'sacred' social benefits...which does not mean it cannot weed out corruption and moralize the system, such as get rid of fraudulent benefits, ex : crooks receiving pensions of people who have already died.
    The only 'benefit' revoked, was that of the unions to receive 1 days salary from every worker, making the contribution voluntary. Reason why the unions are protesting so strongly.

    Regarding the word “prEgresso”, it means something or a situation that has occurred before, as something used to be in the past.

    Nov 15th, 2017 - 05:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “it comes down to the individual to check whatever version is being spun, to find out whether it's credible or not.”

    Probably, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Some lies are plausible enough, like your politician claiming they supported a policy they actually voted against. Perhaps Brazil needs a site like these so people can check:

    Anyway, clearly a lot of people have stopped suspecting things that are too good to be true, if they ever did. Look at Boris claiming we could leave the EU, control immigration, and stay in the single market. He literally said we could have our cake and eat it, and people still believed him. Or Trump saying he would replace Obamacare with a cheaper, better, magical Trumpcare. Turns out reforming healthcare is hard. Who knew?

    As for economic issues, the main problem is that people disagree about them, and they are hard to test, so who should you believe? And the other issue is that democracy encourages short term thinking - politicians need to show result before the next election, and may not care too much what happens in 10 or 20 years' time when they will no longer be in power. It's one of the downsides of the system.

    Even if no government would dare get rid of the social benefits, still some will support them more than others. And if they do manage to reform pensions they will be taking away/reducing a benefit, however necessary it might be. Temer wasn't elected to make these changes, either. As Dilma's vice-president, he stood on her platform, and ought to stick to the polices he was elected on as far as feasible.

    I guess pregresso is the opposite of progresso then. They are saying the government is regressing, going back to the bad past?

    Nov 15th, 2017 - 11:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT - I’m naturally suspicious of what some people claim, especially politicians; if the subject interests me, I’ll dig deeper. Usually, campaign promises/claims and/or the ‘free” (for politicians)TV time, if not lies, are wishful thinking to fool idiots. Sure, economics is not an exact science, and being dynamic in that it’s influenced by many variables simultaneously, it’s not easy to take the decision that’ll guarantee best results…then again, it depends on the mindset of who’s making the decisions, many times, conscientiously, not in the people's best interests. To me, democracy’s biggest weakness is that it allows itself to be attacked / weakened, especially nowadays when the ‘politically correct’ is taken to extremes. To agree with some of today’s politically correct social policies, are we to ignore centuries of tradition and just accept all the new ‘stuff’ as if we’ve always been wrong ? some of these policies are downright unrealistic. The current pension system goes back decades, totally out of sync with today’s reality…imoral benefits, in detriment of 99% of the population, need to be revoked, not only because they’re imoral (if not illegal), but because the State can no longer afford such abuse. Two main points that govt is fighting to maintain in the reform, is the minimum retirement age (65/62 for men/women respctvly) and the abolition of ‘super-salaries’ (& super retirement packages ) in the public sector. Going back to lies, or deliberate misinformation : Dilma’s currently touring Europe, to badmouth the current government : amongst some of her claims : “In 2018, Brazil will have the chance to return to democracy”…really ? ”No way the unpopular pension reform will be approved”…why not, if to avoid bankruptcy ? “Temer is killing the people through starvation ‘n misery”, as if she has nothing to do with the crisis - which, btw is improving - it’s the PT’s way of trying to make Temer fail, so they can look good again - at Bzl's expense.

    Nov 16th, 2017 - 06:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I was going to say most people aren't suspicious enough, but it's not true. Too many people nowadays just seem to be crazy. They believe the most blatant lies from politicians they support, yet they won't believe Nasa sent men to the moon or that the WTC was destroyed by terrorists. Seems like the more implausible a thing is the more willing they are to believe it. It's idiotic.

    I don't know if it's democracy's biggest weakness, but I think to make it work enough people have to believe that democracy is more important than getting their way in the short term. Same way as to have free speech you have to let other people say things you disagree with, and even support their right to do so. To have democracy you have to be willing let the other side win, even if you think they are bad for the country.

    What 'politically correct social policies' are you talking about? There are plenty of old traditions I would be perfectly happy to get rid of. And what immoral benefits? Surely you can't mean pensions?

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 12:27 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))


    REF: “I don't know if it's democracy's biggest weakness”:

    The BIGGEST flaw is the ability to create “Fake-News” - an illusion of Truth!

    Besides, under the name of democracy; the Elite-Parasites being practically above-the-law-“untouchable”; they continue:
    - getting stronger in power/rights/money
    - more oppressive; squeezing the population
    - receiving ridiculously high-value donations during elections
    - receiving ridiculously high-value bribes
    - to fatten their Overseas Accounts/Trusts/Foundations
    - practically immune to the laws of the land and
    - treating the population as a joke

    In fact, out of all those accused/convicted; not even ONE has:
    - admitted being guilty and NEVER will
    - returned the amassed unlimited stolen wealth & NEVER will
    - NOT received support from the rest of the band of crooks
    - been accused by the fellow partners-in-crime

    Even behind the bars; they enjoy not only the special privileges but even attractive compensations for being imprisoned and for keeping their lips sealed!

    Also under the democracy; WHERE are the most important & prestigious projects - the projects which were started with a lot of fanfare & publicity? A few notable being nuclear energy for making electricity abundant & cheaper, network of railways, network of water-canals - just to name a VERY FEW.

    The Other Example of Fake-Democracy is the “Arranged Election Results” where who wins/loses is decided amongst the [supposed to be] opposing candidates. The votes at the voting booths are almost tamper-proof BUT once the pen-drive goes for counting the votes; NOBODY knows what transacts amongst the candidates - the candidates with [supposed to be] declared as “clean”!.

    And finally; a typical example of FAKE DEMOCRACY:!image/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/main-charges-resize_620/image.JPG

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 10:59 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Well, I don’t believe much, even if it comes out of the mouth of a politician I have voted for….differently to most of the 1st world, here you vote for the least worse candidate, in the attempt to block the one you hate most. Using yr example of someone who believes blatant lies from those they support, yet deny that man went to the moon, how would you classify such an individual ? not many options, but plain stupid, or ignorant, sounds ok.

    Agree with yr remark about democracy, but it requires a good dose of selflessness from those who wield power. What’s interesting about free speech, is that today, it really doesn't exist…at least, (most of the time) not without penalties. Before the concept of free speech, there was free ’thought’, however, today, increasingly, you aren’t supposed to express yr thoughts freely unless they agree with the social mood of the times…like Henry Ford said of the first model T’s, “you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black”…..just food for ‘thought’.

    To name one attempt of a PC social policy (US), was BO’s to implement sex-less toilets/ changing rooms etc…this comes to mind as being one of the most recent / most absurd, but there are others, such as (in Bzl): the creation of ‘quotas’ for indigenous people and blacks in universities…since most are incapable of entering university based on their own merit, so once in, how are they expected to pass ? by being pushed along, whether ready or not, to make room for the next quota. How'd you like to to be operated on, say for heart problems, by a doctor who was 'pushed' through the system ?

    Pensions: to put it in perspective, public servants retire on full wages, so a secretary in govt, public company /agency, will get a pension of R$ 10,000.00 , while an executive from the private sector has a cap, R$ 5,500.00. Abt 75%of the humongous deficit in our social security system, which Temer is trying to solve, is due to the public sector. Unnacceptable.

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 06:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    In short; THE Tragi-Comic Soap-Opera WILL continue:

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 08:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I assume you're not talking about free speech in Brazil, since as far as I know no one is being arrested and tortured or exiled for supporting communism today, or any other political ideas.

    But even in the US they had the red scare and McCarthyism. Plenty of people lost their jobs and even went to jail. And there was plenty of censorship of films, books etc. As far as I can see, free speech never really existed without some kind of penalty. The difference is the social mood has changed, so the things you can get in trouble for saying have changed, and the people objecting have changed too. It used to be mostly the right objecting to free speech, now the left have started doing it, which I think is both wrong and very stupid. Right now they have enough support to enforce their opinions to some extent, but they are very foolish if they believe it will always be so.

    As far as I know, BO never tried to pass a law saying all toilets must be unisex, or anything like that. Rather there was a ridiculous fight between different levels of government in the US, as to which toilets transsexuals should use. There were no laws about who could use which toilets before, and I suppose they just used common sense, so I don't see why it has become a big issue now.

    Actually the place I went to yesterday had unisex toilets and it was a bit disconcerting. Plus they did it in a really stupid way: one room with cubicles, but each cubical was labelled male or female, even thought they were all identical. What's the point? If you're going to make them unisex then just make then unisex.

    I agree about the university quotas though. If they want to deal with inequality it needs to be earlier so they can get the kids properly educated and allow them to succeed on their own merits. Even someone really smart is going to struggle to catch up at age 18, so what chance do more average people have? And there have to be standards when awarding degrees or they are not worth anything.

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 11:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Regarding “free speech”, I wasn’t clear…I wasn’t thinking of it in the context of politics, but rather in society, in general, where you need to police yourself all the time, ALWAYS being careful of what you, in a way, you might compare it to a ‘catch 22’ situation ; If you come out and say what you think, you will almost certainly offend ‘someone’, if you don’t say what’s on your mind, you’ll probably offend ‘someone else’…it has created a feeling of what you might call ‘speech insecurity’, so maybe the solution is to keep your thoughts, whatever they may be, to yrself. Yr ex., of McCarthyism in the US is a typical example of an extreme reaction to a previous situation, where the pendulum swings the other way…being radical, with the exception of very few situations, has never been good. What’s happened to the days when people could go about their lives, minding their own business and live in relative calm ? today there is always someone on the lookout for something they can criticize, that they can make an issue of, even blowing it out of proportion...usually directed at someone they don’t like or don’t agree with . And many times, keeping it up their sleeve, to use “at the right time”…plain hypocrisy. Anyway, seems to me that the 1st amendment of the US Constitution has become a kind of ‘relative right’…The sex-less toilet issue etc, was not started by BO, but he sure jumped on the band wagon to promote it…not sure how the whole thing ended, or even if it has, but I’m sure it isn’t going far in the current administration. Perhaps there were no need for explicit laws, as common sense prevailed, but catch a man in a women’s toilet 10 years ago, and he’d be dragged off by the police. But if, as you too say, it’s common sense, why did ‘someone’ have to raise such an ”artificial’’ issue ? some people just “have to” poke their noses into other people’s business… what’s happened to “live and let live” ?
    Re your last paragraph, agreed.

    Nov 18th, 2017 - 02:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I'm not sure what you mean about free speech then. I don't feel like I have to be particularly careful about what I say, except for usual things like not saying anything inappropriate at work or insulting my friends if I want them to still be friends with me. I'm basically going about my life and living in relative calm, so what has changed?

    And are you avoiding saying what you really think? You certainly aren't pretending to agree with me all the time.

    As far as I remember, the toilet issue started in schools. Some city in the US made a law that schools had to let transsexual students use the toilets (and also changing rooms?) of the gender they were living as. But the government of the state it was in objected to this and decided to overrule them, making their own law saying everyone in the state had to use toilets according to the sex on their birth certificate. And then the federal government objected to that, and tried to overrule the state government. I don't suppose it has ended yet, but I can see some major flaws in this plan.

    I have a question for you though: you say you don't believe much, but you did buy into the birtherism stuff to some extent, although no mainstream sources supported it at all. So why was that?

    Nov 19th, 2017 - 12:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    The age [edge] of innocence:

    Nov 19th, 2017 - 07:14 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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