Messaging app WhatsApp reported that more than 400,000 accounts that violated Brazil’s terms of service were banned during last year’s presidential election,media zDNnetb reported. The company disclosed the information in documents submitted to authorities to support an investigation into the spread of misinformation during the presidential campaign.
According to the company, these accounts were banned between 15 August and 28 October 2018. The company said it did so because it was still unknown which candidates might have benefited or benefited from the massive messaging through the app.
WhatsApp said in a statement sent to Brazilian lawmakers that it “expressly prohibits the use of any app or bot to send large amounts of messages or create accounts or groups in an unauthorized or automated manner.” “Because WhatsApp is an encryption platform, our decisions for automated and bulk messaging activities are based on account behavior, not messaging content,” the company explained. “
The company also noted that it had “significantly enhanced” the app, limiting the number of times users could forward the same message five times in order to limit the spread of false information. It also uses the Forward and Multiple Forwards labels to help users identify non-personal content.
Media say the campaign that led to the election of current President Jair Bolsonaro is linked to a “defamation scheme” that allegedly accuses companies of signing up millions of dollars for explosive messaging services to attack their opponents. Local electoral legislation only allows the use of a list of contacts that are voluntarily established by the campaign itself. The country also prohibits the financing of commercial activities, which would consider the entire activity illegal.
When WhatsApp capped forwarding, Eduardo Bolsonaro, a congressman and son of Brazilian President Yael Bosonaro, criticized the app’s decision and said he would move to other platforms such as Telegram to communicate with supporters.
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former campaign chief strategist, is understood to have advised the family.