Feb 18, 2018

Brazil seeks to fight fake news ahead of divisive election

A demonstrators in support of presidential candiate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Cris Faga / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Officials in Brazil are growing wary of fake news flooding into Facebook timelines and other online outlets, both from domestic and foreign actors, ahead of October's presidential election. They're now trying to crack down on organized attempts to mislead voters, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Americans got a detailed picture of election meddling and misinformation in Robert Mueller's indictments on Friday — and the U.S. isn't the only country dealing with these issues.

What's happening in the world’s fourth-largest democracy, per The Times:

  • Federal Police there recently created a panel consisting of law enforcement and intelligence personnel to design a strategy to block fake news materials from being produced and to limit their reach online.
  • Officials in the judiciary branch have been working with American tech companies, including Google, Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, to help them stop misinformation from spreading.
  • Officials reportedly said their efforts could cause legal and ethical troubles, citing a law that allows internet users freedom of expression protections.
  • The two front-runners in the presidential race, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a leftist, and Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a convervative, have lambasted local media news outlets for their critical coverage.
  • The Internet Rights Coalition, a group that opposes regulation and censorship of online content, is skeptical about the country’s effort to regulate online speech. “We have already seen troublesome initiatives” in place, The Times cited the group saying.

Go deeper

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health