| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Electoral court clears Bolsonaro, judge warns of fake news crackdown in 2022 vote

Following an electoral court’s acquittal of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of such a crime in the 2018 election, a Supreme Court justice declared on Thursday that the dissemination of fake news in next year’s elections will not be tolerated.

People who distribute fake news could face prison time, and any candidate engaged could be barred from running for office, according to Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

Moraes, who will lead the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) next year and was involved in the Bolsonaro decision, said “everyone knows” fake news was distributed during the 2018 elections, but there was no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing.

Moraes is also the Supreme Court justice in charge of sensitive investigations involving Bolsonaro and his allies. He said courts are better equipped today to handle cases involving false news dissemination.

“We are not going to allow these digital militias to try again to destabilize the elections, the democratic institutions, backed by spurious and undeclared financing,” Moraes said from the bench.

  • Reuters