On Monday, Facebook parent Meta announced that it was deleting information that supported or praised the weekend ravaging of Brazil government facilities by anti-democratic protesters.
In a three-hour outburst, tens of thousands of fans of Brazil’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro shattered presidential palace windows, flooded portions of Congress with a sprinkler system, and wrecked Supreme Court chambers.
“We categorized Brazil as a temporary high-risk region in ahead of the election and have begun deleting information advocating for people to pick up guns or violently occupy Congress, the Presidential palace, and other government facilities,” a Meta spokesperson said.
“We are also categorizing this as a violating event, which means that any material that supports or glorifies these activities will be removed,” he said. “We are monitoring the issue closely and will continue to remove information that violates our standards.”
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist, assumed office on January 1 after beating Bolsonaro in a runoff election in October, bringing an end to Brazil’s most right-wing administration in decades.
Bolsonaro refused to acknowledge the loss, and some supporters alleged the election was rigged. Individuals organized protests on social media and messaging platforms ranging from Twitter, Telegram, and TikTok to YouTube and Facebook.
Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes has ruled that people propagating anti-democratic propaganda be blocked on social media sites.
Telegram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Bolsonaro’s supporters had been planning to occupy government buildings on Sunday for at least two weeks through groups on social media messaging platforms like Telegram and Twitter. However, security forces did nothing to stop what one group called “the seizure of power by the people.”
Messages reviewed by Reuters this week revealed members of such organizations organizing meeting spots in towns around the nation from which chartered vehicles would depart for Brasilia with the purpose of occupying public buildings.
During a Trump supporter protest in January 2021, social media firms were chastised for not doing enough.