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Brazil's Senate cancels President Bolsonaro's decree on social media

The leader of the Brazilian Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, announced that he has rescinded a decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro regarding social networking sites.

The Argentine newspaper, "Clarin", said that Bolsonaro had requested congressional approval to pass a law changing Internet regulations to combat "arbitrary deletion" of accounts, personal files and content.

The president's office said the decree was intended to protect "freedom of expression" but was met with widespread opposition.

Bolsonaro has used social media as a megaphone to build his political movement and reach the presidency, especially after opinion polls that he will lose the presidential election, as he uses sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to try to undermine the legitimacy of the vote, as he follows the strategy of his close ally, former US President Donald Trump.

With the new policy, tech companies can only remove posts if they deal with specific topics in the action, such as nudity, drugs and violence, as well as if they encourage crime or infringe copyright, to delete another type of post, they must get a court order.

On the other hand, the social media giants denounced the new rules, saying that these new rules will allow the publication of harmful information, and both Facebook and YouTube said that they are still studying how to deal with the new content in Brazil, but Twitter has not yet issued a position on it.

In a tweet, Bolsonaro's government said the policy "prohibits the removal of content that may lead to any kind of "political, ideological, scientific, artistic or religious censorship".

In the view of a number of political and legal analysts that the new rules are strong, it is likely that they will not last.

Matthew Taylor, director of the Brazilian Research Initiative at American University, said Bolsonaro is using this internet policy to mobilize his supporters and divert attention from scandals about his handling of the pandemic and his confrontations with the courts.