Facebook and Google’s video platform, YouTube, have announced that they are removing content related to the recent attack on Brazilian government buildings by anti-democratic protestors.
The incident, which took place over the weekend, saw tens of thousands of supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro storming government buildings and causing significant damage.
“In advance of the election, we designated Brazil as a temporary high-risk location and have been removing content calling for people to take up arms or forcibly invade Congress, the Presidential palace and other federal buildings,” a Meta spokesman said.
“We are also designating this as a violating event, which means we will remove content that supports or praises these actions,” he said. “We are actively following the situation and will continue removing content that violates our policies.”
These actions have been widely condemned, and social media platforms, including Twitter, Telegram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook, have been ordered to block users who are spreading anti-democratic propaganda.
A spokesperson for YouTube stated that the company is closely monitoring the situation in Brazil.
“Our Trust and Safety team is removing content that violates our Community Guidelines, including livestreams and videos inciting violence,” the spokesperson said.
“In addition, our systems are prominently surfacing authoritative content on our homepage, at the top of search results, and in recommendations. We will remain vigilant as the situation continues to unfold.”
Telegram and TikTok
Telegram, a private messaging app, has announced that it is working with the Brazilian government and fact-checking groups to stop the spread of content that incites violence.
This comes after supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings in Brazil over the weekend.
The occupation was planned by Bolsonaro’s supporters on social media platforms such as Telegram and Twitter for at least two weeks, but there was no action taken by security forces to prevent it.
Messages seen by Reuters showed that members of these groups were organizing meeting points in various cities across the country, from which chartered buses would transport people to Brasilia with the intention of occupying public buildings.
TikTok and Twitter have not yet responded to requests for comment. In the past, social media companies have been criticized for not taking sufficient action to prevent similar events, such as the invasion of the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.