Bolsonaro criticizes Facebook and advocates increased taxation of social networks
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized Facebook on Monday for the restrictions it imposed and defended an increase in the taxation of social networks in the South American country, in a video that was published on those same platforms.
Wearing a Portuguese Football Team jersey, while walking along a beach in the state of Santa Catarina, Bolsonaro also launched harsh criticisms of the Brazilian press, stating that “the right thing is to get some newspapers out of circulation”.
“Facebook is blocking me and the population… It is unbelievable that this prevails in Brazil. And there is no reaction from the media itself ”, lamented the President, in a video shared on the social network Instagram by his son, deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro.
“Facebook blocked it, now let’s see. I have already called the Federal Attorney General (AGU, the body that defends the executive in legal proceedings), to see what we can do. And the Federal Government also, together with Parliament, to create legislation, to tax even more these people [social networks] who pay very little tax to operate within Brazil. Take steps to really guarantee freedom of expression. On my page, on anyone’s page ”, added Bolsonaro.
At issue is a request made by the head of state to supporters to refuel their vehicles, check the taxes on the tax invoice and publish a photo of it on the agent’s Facebook page. However, according to Bolsonaro, the social network has banned the publication of images on pages of political content, a situation that the President classified as “draconian censorship”.
“With all due respect, on the page of the President of the Republic? I am any of the people. Prohibit attaching images in order to protect ‘fake news’. The right thing is to get Globo, Folha de S.Paulo, Estadão, Antagonist out of circulation. They are ‘fake news’ factories. But I’m not going to do that, because I’m a Democrat. Let the people free themselves, have freedom. Logically, if someone extrapolates something, there is the Justice to appeal ”, he stressed.
Bolsonaro is critical of the actions developed by platforms like Facebook and Twitter to curb the spread of false news and violent speeches, including the decision to block accounts linked to former US president Donald Trump, whose chief of Brazilian State is a confessed admirer.
In January, for example, Twitter marked as “misleading” one Bolsonaro Posted on early treatment for the new coronavirus.
In addition to social media, which he uses as his main communication channel, Bolsonaro also frequently criticizes the press, accusing it of publishing false news about him, to undermine his management.