Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Issues Social Media Moderation Law

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree on Monday, September 6, restricting the power of social media companies to moderate online content and combat disinformation. 

AFP reported that Congress has yet to sign the decree, but shall be effective immediately once the law is passed. 

The federal communications secretariat said that the decree intends to hamper the “arbitrary and unjust deletion of accounts, profiles, and content by providers” along with the removal of content and suspension of accounts if there are indications of violence or crime. 

“This provisional measure significantly hinders our ability to limit abuse on our platforms. We agree with legal experts and specialists who view the measure as a violation of constitutional rights,” said Facebook. 

Opposition official and Marco Civil da Internet (MCI) bill of rights rapporteur Alessandro Molon said that he was preparing to go to court to declare the unconstitutionality of the provision and added that the MCI already protects freedom of expression and that Bolsonaro only wanted a free pass to spread disinformation.

Bolsonaro declared the provisional measure on Brazil’s independence day.

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