Brazilian Election Watch: Facebook Wipes Out Conservative Pages Ahead of Elections

On Thursday of last week, conservative Brazilian organization Movimento Brasil Livre (Free Brazil Movement, known as MB) found that many of its Facebook pages had been deleted.

Partial translation:

This morning, 7/25/2018 several coordinators of the Free Brazil Movement had their accounts arbitrarily taken off the air by Facebook. The allegation, given by the social network, was that it was to curb false accounts given to the dissemination of fake news. However, many of these accounts possess biographical data, such as professional addresses, personal phone numbers, family contacts, among other verifiable information, which reveals as absurd the accusation that they were false accounts.

As if this weren’t enough, Facebook also deactivated some pages which had a national reach, which, having a total of half a million followers, informing and spreading liberal* and conservative ideas – which is not a crime – also played the important role of denouncing the fake new of the Brazilian media. The case is, therefore, completely arbitrary, ironic, but not surprising.

For some time Facebook has been the target of international attention, because of the political and ideological leaning of the company, manifested by bpersecuting, curbing, manipuation of data, and inventing alfalse alegations against groups, institutions and liders on the rigth around the world…

Many Brazilians were outraged by the action.

Translation: The crime of @MBLivre was that of breaking the leftist monopoly on public discourse, and, as the left can never win that debate, the only thing they can do is silence by force whoever thinks differently.

Translation: Today the MBL was censored by Facebook. There is no reason to support, and even less celebrate any kind of censorship of the right.

It’s always the right.

It’s always people on the right.

The greatest propagator of Fake News is the left, which remains untouched.

Unacceptable!

Predictably, there was quite a bit of celebration on the left.

Translation: Facebook announced the cancellation of a network of pages and accounts used to divulge fake news by member of the Free Brazil Movement. It is funamental that Facebook take measures to guarantee the smooth operation of the elections.

Oh, did we mention that, in this election year, the leading candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has gained his popularity chiefly through social media groups like MBL? There may be just a little more than coincidence here…

Janaina Paschoal, who Bolsonaro is reportedly considering as his running mate, made the conncetion:

Translation: Here’s the thing, comrades: you have lost your monopoly on the public discourse. Where lies have reigned for so many years, it is natural for the truth to be called “fake news”. You can shut down the pages, we will always have the public square!

Translation: Observing minions giggling because MBL is the victim of the most blatant CENSORSHIP just shows that this country has learned NOTHING, that it has not the least appreciation for liberty and that, deep inside, it loves a dictatorship, as long as it is the right dictator.

Brazilian columnist Rodrigo Constantino sums it up quite nicely, we think.

Translation:

First, the red fascists came for the liberals of the MBL, but, as I was not part of the MBL, I said nothing. Afterward, they came for the conservatives on Facebook, but, as I was not one of them, I did not protest. Then they came after the bolsominions (supporters of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro), but as I was not a bolsominion, I kept quiet. Then they came after the olavetes (followers of Brazilian conservative philosopher Olavo de Carvalho) and, as I was not part of this cult, I kept quiet. So when they came to get me, there was nobody left to protest. Think about this if you do not wish to be silences as well in the name of combating “fake news” bu the greatest creators of fake news on the planet. Today everybody who is commemorating the news of Facebook’s censorship is revealing their authoritarian tendencies. The first target of this arbitrary action was the MBL. Tomorrow it will be you!

Stay tuned here for future developments.

*Important note: when Brazilians use the term “liberal” in a political context, it usually refers to free market economics and personal liberty – the opposite of what it does in the US.

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