A report published Saturday revealed that social media giants Meta—Facebook’s parent company—and TikTok are driving traffic to content promoting a military coup to overthrow Brazil’s democracy.
The report (read below) —entitled Stop the Steal 2.0: How Meta and TikTok Are Promoting a Coup—was published by the San Francisco-based activist group SumOfUs and asserts that “on the eve of the second vote in Brazil’s most important election in decades, Meta and TikTok continue to put the integrity of the election on the line through their disastrous recommendation systems.”
The publication came ahead of Sunday’s second-round contest between far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro—who has said he may not accept the outcome of the election if he loses–and former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Aggregate polling showed the two candidates in a statistical dead heat on Friday.
According to the new report:
“At this point, it is safe to say that Meta has become Bolsonaro’s official disinformation machine,” SumOfUs campaign director Flora Rebello Arduini said in a statement. “This is not Meta’s first time wreaking havoc on democracy and Brazilians deserve better from this multi-billion dollar company.”
Subscribe to GreatGameIndia
“As this report shows,” she added, “TikTok needs to up its game and not follow Meta’s lead in fueling the disinformation crisis in Brazil.”
On Saturday evening, SumOfUs activists projected an image of Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg setting the Brazilian flag alight with the message “Meta is destroying Brazilian democracy” at Kings Cross tube station in London, just around the corner from Meta’s U.K. headquarters.
The new report comes amid warnings and acts of right-wing political violence. While no motive has yet been announced, on Friday local São Paulo-area politician Reginaldo Camilo dos Santos, a prominent supporter of da Silva and the left-wing Workers’ Party running for Congress, was assassinated in a drive-by shooting near his home in Jandira.
Agência Pública, an independent Brazilian investigative journalism outlet, reported earlier this month that from August 16 and the end of the first round on October 2, there were at least 148 cases of electoral violence across the country.
A separate report published last week by the anti-corruption and human rights organization Global Witness revealed that YouTube approved 100% of Brazilian election misinformation ads submitted for approval, while Facebook accepted around half of such submissions.
Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams. This article was originally published on Common Dreams.
Read the document below: