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Facebook is battling a tidal wave of fake news and misinformation on WhatsApp in Brazil

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Jerrod Fenton
Oct 19, 2018 23:31
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Brazilian protesters carry posters against the far-right’s presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, on September 29, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Business groups have been spreading hoaxes supporting the far-right candidate in the presidential election, and ones study found half of all political content being shared was false or misleading.

It shows how Facebook still struggles to police content on its platforms, and the seismic consequences this can have around the world.

It's like 2016 all over again — but this time, the misinformation is spreading on messaging app WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, and the election is in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, who came out in front in a first-round vote but failed to win outright, has espoused extreme, nationalistic views, including opposition to equal marriage, support for torture, and more lethal tactics by police.

Writing in The New York Times recently, researchers found that the majority of the most popular political content shared on the app in Brazil is either false or misleading.

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Jerrod Fenton
Oct 19, 2018 23:31
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