Google’s campaign against PL 2630, also known as PL das Fake News, caused reactions from government and justice authorities. The Federal Supreme Court (STF), the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) and the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) took measures in relation to the company.
The STF determined that the presidents of Google, Meta, Spotify and Brasil Paralelo testify to the Federal Police (PF). The court wants to know if the companies acted against the Fake News PL.
The suspicion is that there has been abuse of economic power and, in the words used in the order, “illicit contribution to the misinformation practiced by digital militias on social networks”.
The order, signed by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, determined the removal of “advertisements, texts and information published, propagated and promoted from the official Google blog with attacks on PL 2,630”.
The STF also determined that Google and Meta remove “all ads and texts” that treat the topic as “PL of Censorship”.
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This story is about an evolving issue and may be updated with more information.
Google put text against Fake News PL on the home page
Since April 27th, Google has placed a link on its home page with the text: “The Fake News PL can increase confusion about what is true or false in Brazil”.
The link led to a post on the company’s blog, entitled “How PL 2630 can make your internet worse”. The text also has a link to an article from 2022, called “How PL 2630 can make your internet worse”.
Among the criticisms made by Google are allegations that the project protects those who produce misinformation, jeopardizes the distribution of content, and harms companies and advertisers.
In addition, the company has placed alerts on the dashboards for content creators on YouTube. The text says that their work is at risk because of the Fake News PL.
Senacon Treats Google Text as Advertising
The STF was not the only one to take action against Google. Senacon, linked to the Ministry of Justice, determined that Google flag the text as “advertising”.
The agency also ordered Google to run “counter-advertising” to “duly inform consumers of the company’s commercial interest” about PL 2,630.
After the announcement of the measures taken by Senacon, Google removed the link from its homepage.
Cade investigates possible abuse of economic power
Who also decided to investigate the performance of big techs against the PL 2,630 is Cade. The body wants to know if Google and Meta abused their economic power to influence the discussion about the law.
“The decision was taken in view of the receipt of complaints that Google and Meta were improperly using the Google, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram platforms to carry out campaigns against the bill”, says the note from the council.
The Federal Public Ministry was one more of the authorities to position itself in relation to the performance of the technology giants in the discussion of the Bill of Fake News.
The body issued letters questioning Google, Meta and Spotify about a possible favoring of content contrary to PL 2,630 on their platforms.
“In the event that a company modulates its search engine to offer people who seek to know about a given subject a specific version that takes advantage of it, it would be acting to the detriment of the right to information that it claims to promote”, says the letter, written by attorney Yuri Corrêa from light.
What Google and Other Companies Say
In a note about Senacon’s decision, Google says that the “allegations that we are expanding the reach of pages with content contrary to Bill 2630 on Search, to the detriment of others with favorable content, are false.”
The company says that its manifestation regarding the PL 2,630 is “public and transparent”, and that it has invested in “marketing campaigns to give broader visibility to our concerns”.
Also in a note, Meta – owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – said it does not allow fraudulent activities. The company also calls for broad debate to ensure the law improves the internet.
With information: CNN Brazil, UOL, Folha de S.PauloG1 (1, two, 3)