Na madrugada entre 7 e 8 de setembro – no contexto das manifestações convocadas pelo presidente Jair Bolsonaro (sem partido) e atos contrários a ele em todo Brasil – ao menos 14 contas de coletivos e ativistas que se contrapõem ao bolsonarismo foram suspensas pelo Twitter. Mostly linked to Workers’ Party support networks, the profiles were blocked without information from the platform about the rule that had been violated.
Among the dropped accounts are @pandora, @forabolsonarob, @IneditaBrasil, @estrelatuita, @estrelacoletivo and @ArticulaRedes. All were engaged in anti-bolsonarist actions on the networks during the 7th of September and reached, with #7SForaBolsonaro the trending topic (a term that means trending topic, when a hashtag ranks first in number of tweets that cite it).
Renata Delfiol, communicator and coordinator of the Networks Articulation Project, had not only her collective account but also her personal account suspended, in which she comments on politics, soap operas and Corinthians. Delfiol was even mentioned by Twitter Brazil when it completed 10 years, as one of the first Brazilian women to register on the platform, in July 2006.
“I never had a heavier comment, I don’t use profanity, I don’t use pejorative terms to address the president’s followers,” explains Delfiol, for whom the only explanation for the overturning of accounts is a silent articulation of denunciations of these profiles.
“Who assures me that it’s not robots making massive reports of our accounts? How dangerous can this orchestration be?” questions Renata, when asking the reason why the defense of employment, vaccine and the SUS bother so much.
Student Leonardo Costa, an employee of the Single Workers’ Union in Education in Betim (MG) and a member of the Frente Brasil Popular, had four accounts blocked. On his personal profile, he received a report from Twitter that he was permanently banned.
“I’m very surprised about the removal, since we see many accounts with anti-democratic publications, we see accounts with fakenews about the pandemic, which is a global health issue, and these accounts are not even brought down,” he says.
“We all feel silenced and wronged”, characterizes Teresa Aquino, lawyer and activist at Coletivo Estrela.
“We were silent and this injustice needs to be redressed”. In his view, groups that are dedicated to “denouncing the atrocities committed by the current government” are “being the target of censorship or false accusations of accounts that, then yes, would need to be analyzed”.
Wanted by Brasil de Fato, Twitter Brasil reported that the accounts were suspended for violating the rule that prohibits “artificially amplifying or harming conversations by using multiple accounts or by agreeing with others to violate Twitter’s rules”.
The rule includes banning overlapping accounts, mutually interacting accounts, and coordinating to “post duplicate content or create fake engagement”. The company also stated that the detection of this type of violation “is based on the behavior/form of action of the accounts, and not focused on the content of the content published by them”.
Bolsonaro’s Provisional Measure to Regulate Social Media
A derrubada das contas no Twitter acontece na mesma semana em que o presidente Jair Bolsonaro edita uma polêmica medida provisória (MP) que estabelece normas para uso de redes sociais, limitando a remoção de seus conteúdos.
Prepared over the past few months at the Department of Culture, under the management of Mario Frias, the text alters articles of the Marco Civil da Internet and provides that social networks with more than 10 million subscribers only remove content by means of a court order or “fair cause”.
Read more: Bolsonaro edits MP that changes the Internet’s Civil Law and facilitates fake news
With the force of law for 120 days, until it is considered by the National Congress, MP 1068/2021 is being questioned by legal entities, civil society and the technology market – including the companies Facebook and Twitter.
In an opinion sent to the Senate, the OAB points out the unconstitutionality of the measure. Arguing that the text limits the fight against false news, harassment and hate speech, seven actions have already been filed against the provisional measure in the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
A member of Coletivo Inédita, which brings together activist communicators and whose profile was also overturned, Matheus Alves says that they intend to denounce what he defines as silencing and that they are evaluating the possibility of filing a lawsuit if there is no satisfactory response from Twitter.
“We are wanting our account back anyway”, he points out.
Edition: Anelize Moreira