WhatsApp Requested to Delay Launch of Communities Characteristic in Brazil Until January

Brazilian prosecutors on Friday known as on messaging platform WhatsApp to delay the launch in Brazil of its new characteristic known as Communities till January to keep away from the unfold of pretend information throughout and instantly after the nation’s election in October.

The federal prosecutors mentioned the expanded attain of the brand new software comes “at a time when pretend information concerning the functioning of establishments and the integrity of the Brazilian voting system may jeopardize the democratic stability of the nation.”

The MPF, because the federal prosecutors workplace is understood, mentioned Communities may undermine the environment friendly steps taken by WhatsApp lately to comprise the unfold of pretend information.

WhatsApp is likely one of the messaging platforms that supporters of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro most use to speak, set up rallies, and reveal their views. Bolsonaro is searching for re-election however is trailing leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil’s most polarized election in a long time.

The messaging service owned by Meta agreed in April to postpone the launch of the brand new platform till after an anticipated second-round run-off vote on the finish of October.

However the MPF mentioned in an announcement this was not sufficient to mitigate the “severe dangers that a rise in disinformation can generate … within the final two months of the 12 months.”

A WhatsApp spokesperson mentioned the corporate will proceed to fastidiously consider the most effective time to launch the brand new platform and would duly reply to the authorities’ request.

The MPF mentioned WhatsApp is put in on 99 % of the smartphones in Brazil.

The brand new characteristic would develop the variety of customers from 256 at current to 512, permitting messages to be despatched to 2,560 individuals directly. This could enhance customers’ potential to viralize content material, the MPF mentioned.

The prosecutors famous WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption prevents these accountable for the platform from monitoring and moderating the content material of the messages exchanged on it.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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