Brazil’s top electoral court upholds sanctions against two lawmakers
Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) Tuesday ruled to uphold a decision fining Federal Deputy Carla Zambelli (PL-SP) and Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ) for publishing untrue content against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the 2022 election campaign, Agencia Brasil reported.
By a majority vote, the plenary upheld the individual decision of TSE Chief Justice Alexandre De Moraes, who fined Zambelli and Bolsonaro R$30,000 (around US$ 6,100) and R$15,000 (around US$ 3,050)respectively. The decision also determines the definitive removal of the content in question from social networks.
The lawsuit was filed by Lula’s coalition after the defendants published posts linking the then-candidate and the PT to corruption cases.
De Moraes said that the dissemination of untrue posts cannot be confused with freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. He also recalled that the platforms were being used by people who are promoting attacks on schools and teaching young people to make bombs and handle weapons.
It is not possible that social networks, big techs, and platforms are no man’s land. What you can’t do in the real world, you can’t do in the virtual world, he said.
Justice Cármen Lúcia assessed that the networks have become a virtual Wild West, which is leading to loss of life. These practices have created a new moment in the history of humanity. Before, one tried to dominate people externally by territories. Now, one is trying to dominate internally. One person is led, an adolescent, a young person, to wield a weapon against another as if we were in a society of everyone against everyone, she pondered.
Zambelli’s defense argued that she did not disclose untrue facts and that opponents cannot be prevented from speaking out about evidence of illicit acts committed by opponents, while Flavio Bolsonaro’s lawyers told the TSE that the senator has parliamentary immunity to make criticisms and that he only reported cases involving corruption in pension funds.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)