Tech companies are at loggerheads with Brazil over a proposed bill that would force the companies to self-police illegal content on their sites.
Content moderation is one of the biggest challenges facing online platforms, with regulators and companies often on two different sides of the issue. Brazil is trying to pass a bill that would require companies to report illegal content on their sites and platforms, and predictably, tech companies are pushing back.
According to Al Jazeera, Google placed a link on its Brazil home page that advocated against Bill 2630, the Fake News Law. The action drew the ire of Justice Minister Flavio Dino, who demanded the removal of the link, saying Google would be fined $198,000 per hour that the link remained.
“What is this? An editorial? This is not a media or an advertising company,” Dino said.
Al Jazeera reports that Dino took to Twitter to praise the search giant’s decision to comply:
“Google has removed the coded and illegal advertising from its home page,” he wrote. “The LAW must prevail over the digital Wild West.”
While the bill has been compared to the EU’s Digital Services Act, Google has expressed concern that it has been changed so much in such a short period of time that no one really knows what it does and does not require. The search giant says this could open the door to loopholes that could be used oppressively.
At this point, it’s unclear if the law will pass. If it does, however, it will pose yet another challenge for Big Tech companies.