Brazil tries to reduce fake news ahead of elections

The country will release its first set of guidelines for digital conduct to be expected from candidates in the presidential elections of 2018.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

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.

TSE is looking to update its policies - which currently do not include rules related to innovations such as campaign financing with cryptocurrencies or social bots to inflate the importance of a topic - with a new set of guidelines to be released next month.

The rules for digital conduct to be expected from candidates in the presidential elections of 2018 will be a first in Brazil. According to the TSE, there is a concern about the impact that fake news may have on voters' decisions.

According to a statement from the Court, working groups were created "to analyze security measures in order to guarantee voters' freedom to vote."

Additionally, the court stated it should "make an agreement with the technology department for the Ministry of Defense and use other subsidies to monitor the process."

Last week, Brazilian defense minister Raul Jungmann did suggest that the Armed Forces could get involved in fake news monitoring through the Communications and Electronic Warfare Center of the Brazilian Army (CCOMGEX), however the possibility is still being technically assessed.

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