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WhatsApp admits massive messaging in elections …

by Ace Damon
WhatsApp admits massive messaging in elections ...

WhatsApp messaging admitted for the first time that the presidential elections in Brazil last year saw massive messaging with automated systems hired by companies, the Brazilian press reported.

“Last year's Brazilian election was a massive messaging provider that violated our terms of use to reach large numbers of people,” said WhatsApp public policy and global election manager Ben Supple, in a talk at the Gabo Festival in Colombia, quoted by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

Asked if the use of WhatsApp by political campaigns violated the platform rules, Ben Supple said no, as long as the usage rules are enforced.

“It does not violate as long as all the terms of use are respected (which prohibits the automation and massive submission of content). Everyone is subject to the same criteria, regardless of whether the candidate is a presidential candidate or a peasant from the interior of India, ”said the same executive.

In a series of reports released in October 2018, the month of the presidential election in the South American country, Folha de S. Paulo revealed the hiring of marketing companies that made massive sending of political messages, fraudulently.

According to the newspaper, business supporters of then-candidate Jair Bolsonaro paid for sending mass messages against Workers' Party adversary Fernando Haddad, who ended up defeated in the elections.

Haddad was also fined by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) for wrongly pushing content against his then-now adversary and now President Jair Bolsonaro.

At the Gabo Festival, Ben Supple condemned the public groups formed on the WhatsApp platform that are accessed via links that distribute political content.

“We see these groups as hyped tabloids, where people want to spread a message to an audience and usually spread more controversial and problematic content. … Our vision is: don't go into these big groups with people you don't know. Leave these groups and report it, ”Ben Supple added.

In the Brazilian presidential election, which elected Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, WhatsApp was a privileged medium for spreading fake news (also called fake news).

According to Lusa, AP Exata director and researcher at the University of Minho Sérgio Denicoli told Lusa last February, the false news circulating on the Internet influenced the outcome of the 2018 Brazilian elections.

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