Marielle Franco, misinformation and hate speech in Brazil
The murder of Rio de Janeiro city councillor, Marielle Franco, and her driver Anderson Gomes, has had an impact on the scenario of digital rights in Brazil. Marielle had participated in November 2017, in the national preparatory meeting for the IGF on a panel discussing the role of technology in fighting gender, race, and social inequality. After the murder, a lawsuit was filed in Brazil demanding the removal of 38 videos, that according to Marielle’s family, contained hate messages and offended her dignity and memory by suggesting she was connected to drug dealers and organised crime. A judge in Rio ruled that 16 out of the 38 videos actually contain abuse of the exercise of freedom of speech, and ordered YouTube to take them down, on March 22. YouTube was given 72 hours to comply, after which, a daily fine of R$ 1000 would apply. A pool of civil rights lawyers also started campaigning to identify and crowdsource the filing of lawsuits all over the country concerning the same alleged attacks by individual posts on social networks. We are yet to hear about these lawsuits.