Brazil flag
Brazil flag aboodi vesakaran/Unsplash

Brazil's government raised an objection on Tuesday to big tech firms' campaign against an internet regulation bill. It is aimed at cracking down on fake news on digital platforms.

According to Telesur, Bill 2630, which is also known as PL das Fake News, has been the subject of a Google campaign.

On its home page, it displayed messages such as "The PL of fake news can increase confusion about what is true and what is a lie in Brazil," or "The PL of fake news can make your Internet worse."

The Fake News Law puts the onus on search engines, the internet companies, and social messaging services to find and report any material that is illegal, instead of leaving it to the courts.

Big tech firms, including Google LLC, have been campaigning against the bill. In Brazil, Google added a link on its search engine, connecting to blogs against the bill.

On Tuesday, Brazil's Justice Minister Flavio Dino pushed for Google to change the link. He said that the company had two hours after the notification or it would be slapped with fines of $198,000 per hour if it did not make the changes.

He called Google's link misleading advertising for the company's stance against the law.

Dino later tweeted that Google has removed advertising that is "encrypted and illegal" from its home page. He added that he hopes that digital platforms "deactivate mechanisms of censorship or violation of freedom of expression with isonomy," and that they remain open to dialogue.

Even though Google pulled the link, the U.S. company defended its right to convey its concerns via "marketing campaigns" on its platforms. It denied altering search results to favor material that is contrary to the bill, as per Reuters.

It said that they support discussions on measures to combat the phenomenon of misinformation, and that all Brazilians have the "right to be part of this conversation." It further said that the company is committed to communicating their concerns about the bill "publicly and transparently."

The bill to penalize companies for not reporting fake news was set to be voted on in Congress' lower house on Tuesday. But its fate is not certain as there is resistance from conservative and Evangelical lawmakers. They have supported the big tech firms against the government and its allies.

On Tuesday, the chief executives in Brazil for Google, Spotify and Meta were asked by the Supreme Court to testify within five days. They need to explain their conduct regarding the bill.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.