Minister evades questions about censorship and denies speech about “faked”

Minister evades questions about censorship and denies speech about “faked”

The Minister of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Republic, Paulo Pimenta, denied the existence of any type of censorship in the current government. The statement was made during a public hearing at the Social Communication and Inspection and Control commissions of the Chamber of Deputies this Wednesday (24).

Pimenta was invited by deputies Gustavo Gayer (PL-GO), Filipe Barros (PL-PR), Bibo Nunes (PL-RS), Bia Kicis (PL-DF) and Kim Kataguiri (União-SP) to provide clarifications on the plan of government and actions on freedom of expression and of the press. The invitation came after a series of actions by the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to regulate social networks and propose changes to the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet.

When asked by deputies about the concept of Fake News, Pimenta attributed the term to a “fact transformed into a lying narrative”. “Fake news is not a lie like any other, it is information disseminated in an industrial way and seeks a point of contact with reality, with something that happened,” he said.

Regarding the platform that the government created to check information, Pimenta pointed out that it is a “response to misinformation about government public policies”.

Parliamentarians also questioned the minister about some possible fake news that he released on his social networks, especially when referring to the stab wound against former president Jair Bolsonaro as “fakeada”. He denied the allegations and avoided apologizing for what happened.

“I have always been opposed to the narrative created around the episode of the stabbing of Bolsonaro. It created a narrative in the sense of seeking a political connotation of accountability, including our party, about a fact that there was no evidence of reality in this narrative. It is a good example how to build a false narrative”, he said.

This narrative is reinforced in the documentary “Bolsonaro and Adélio – a fake in the heart of Brazil”. Matter of People’s Gazette showed that it is a compilation of the biggest conspiracy theories invented about the attack against the then candidate for the presidency of the Republic on September 6, 2018. Produced by the portal Brazil 247a supporter of the Workers’ Party (PT), and endorsed by party leaders.

About site reviews Brazil 247 It is Journal of the Center of the World (DCM)) and the possibility that the government is investing in these means of communication, Pimenta praised the portals for exercising “quality journalism”, but did not say whether the PT government is allocating resources to these channels.

Deputy Júlia Zanatta (PL-SC) refuted the minister’s statements and said that the two press vehicles persecute and slander PT opponents. “We know when journalism is impartial, journalism speaks of facts and not opinion, and what the DCM and the Portal 247 [fazem] it’s not journalism, it’s defame and slander the PT’s political opponents,” he said.

At the hearing, the minister also praised the investigations of the STF in the so-called inquiries of digital militias and anti-democratic acts. Pimenta said that the Court “does not condemn anyone without guaranteeing the defense”. “Whether or not this digital militia exists and who the financiers are, we will know when the inquiry is concluded. We do not work similarly to the digital militia of criminal actions. Our government does not work with influencers”, argued the minister.

PL Fake News

Bill 2630/2020, known as PL Fake News or PL da Censura, was also widely discussed throughout the audience by parliamentarians. The proposal, focused on the issue of the responsibility of social networks in relation to content published by third parties, entered into an emergency regime with favorable votes from 238 parliamentarians, but the vote was postponed and continues without a defined date.

In the new wording of the project, the rapporteur Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP) had removed controversial devices, such as the creation of an “autonomous supervisory entity” which, according to the penultimate version of the bill, should be established by the Executive Branch.

Even with the changes in the text, jurists consulted by Gazeta do Povo pointed out worrying aspects of the proposal for freedom of expression on social networks.

Pimenta, on the other hand, defended the urgency of approving the project and said that the matter has already been discussed and approved in many other countries. According to the minister, there was no attempt by the government to induce the vote of parliamentarians. “We do not guide and will not guide. We do not deal with illegal content. If any content circulated on the internet as if it were from Secom, it was included in the wrong way”, he said.

Deputy Gustavo Gayer criticized the fact that the minister did not respond to questions about “fake news propagated by the government”. “The population is coerced not to demonstrate against any public policy of the government or against the attitudes of some politicians for fear of being persecuted”, said the parliamentarian.

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