Facebook has approved ads promoting violence in the wake of Brazil riots

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“Yes” to a series of online ads promoting violence in Brazil he said it Facebook just days after protesters stormed public buildings and ransacked them.

Earlier in the month thousands supporters of far-right former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congressthe country’s Supreme Court and Presidential Palace in an attack that lasted more than three hours.

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In an effort to stem the flow of posts inciting violence online, Facebook’s parent company Meta announced that called Brazil a “temporarily high-risk area” and removed content that called for citizens to take up arms or storm public buildings.

However, four days after the incidents the human rights organization Global Witness found that Facebook was still allowing advertisements which contained death threats and other calls for violence on his platform.

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Using fake accounts the NGO submitted 16 fake ads to appear on the platform, of which 14 were approved for publication.

Among those approved were messages that said in Portuguese: “We must dig up all the rats that have seized power and shoot them. We need a military revolution to restore the rule of law’ and ‘Death to the children of Lula’s voters’.

Brazil’s center-left President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took power on Jan. 1 after beating Bolsonaro in a runoff election in October.

Bolsonaro refused to concede defeat, however, and some of his supporters claimed they had been robbed of victory.

Global Witness also submitted ads to YouTube for approval, but the video-sharing platform blocked the organization’s accounts.

Global Witness said it pulled the ads from Facebook before other users saw them.

“In the wake of the violence in Brasilia, Facebook announced that it was ‘actively monitoring’ the situation and removed the content in violation of its policy. This trial shows how unsuccessfully it delivers what it promises,” said Rosie Sharp, the NGO’s digital threats manager.

“YouTube’s much stronger reaction shows that the false ads we made can be posted,” he added, as reported by the Athens News Agency.

Meta spokesman Mitch Henderson countered that Global Witness’ small sample of ads “is not representative of how the company enforces its policies on a large scale.”

“As we’ve said in the past, in the run-up to the Brazilian election last year, we removed hundreds of thousands of listings that violated our violence and incitement to violence policies and rejected tens of thousands of ad submissions before they appeared,” he added.

Source: News Beast

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