Twitter CEO Elon Musk took to the social media site to push back on a “ridiculous” post by a CNN Brazil host who claimed Twitter censored her post in support of a proposed law that would require tech firms to crack down on “fake news” on their platforms.
Daniela Lima, a journalist and presenter on CNN Brazil’s “CNN 360” program, claimed during a broadcast on Monday that Twitter was preventing her from posting content in support of the proposed bill — known as Bill 2630 or the “Fake News Law” — to the platform from her laptop. Lima shared a clip of the segment on Twitter, which included a shot of her posting a screenshot of the allegedly censored content through her mobile app.
“This is ridiculous,” Musk tweeted in response to a thread by Glenn Greenwald taking issue with Lima’s allegation. “Twitter briefly encountered growing pains, which affected users worldwide. Too many people logging on simultaneously. We allocated more server capacity to authentication servers & problem solved.”
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Greenwald went on to add, “The hugest irony of all is the bill the entire corporate media in Brazil is supporting would, among other things, empower the state to censor the internet to stop ‘disinformation.’ Yet here they are spreading glaring Fake News in support of this law with no sense of irony.” Musk replied, “This will backfire.”
Downdetector, a site that tracks outages through the collection of status reports — including user-submitted errors — noted there were over 3,600 incidents of people reporting issues with Twitter’s platform on Monday. Some Twitter users noted that they were being logged out unexpectedly and unable to sign in.
Lima responded to Musk’s tweet about the issues users encountered by saying that she was already logged on to Twitter at the time of the broadcast segment and that she just couldn’t post certain content.
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Brazil’s proposed “Fake News Law” is backed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and would require internet companies, search engines and social media platforms to find and report illegal material on their sites or face fines.
Advocates of the bill argue it’s needed to counteract “fake news” that has contributed to violence at Brazil’s schools and sown distrust in the country’s electoral and political processes.
Critics counter that the hastily drafted bill will allow for censorship and reward those who post disinformation by requiring tech firms to pay content providers for posted materials.
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Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, are among the tech firms that have campaigned against the proposal. Those two companies along with Spotify were summoned by Brazil’s Supreme Court to explain their efforts to lobby against the bill within five days.
A vote on the controversial legislation could occur as early as Tuesday afternoon in Brazil’s lower chamber of Congress.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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