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Global Challenges to Digital Media Policy and Regulation, Vol. 30 - 2023, No. 2

Guest Edited by Hannu Nieminen, Helena Sousa, and Claudia Padovani

Brazilian Fake News Bill: Strong Content Moderation Accountability but Limited Hold on Platform Market Power

, pages: 253-267[open access]

This article analyses the Brazilian PL 2630, so-called “fake news bill,” according to platform regulation approaches focused on speech, data, and market power. This law project was introduced in 2020 with the objective to fight disinformation campaigns in digital platforms such as social media and messaging services. After a multistakeholder debate, the latest version of the bill before the 2022 general elections was presented in the Chamber of Deputies. This article argues that the bill takes different stances with regard to those three basic elements. The bill strongly draws on the dimension of speech, establishing requirements for transparency in content moderation following the highest international standards. On data and market power, however, the bill makes no significant progress, with little contribution, for example, to tackling the surveillance-based business model. This way, it does not touch on structural conditions that shape disinformation campaigns, such as the profit motive of digital platforms. It follows a general pattern of platform regulation, leaving structural features untouched and, this way, eventually undermining stronger efforts against online disinformation.

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