Bolsonaro blocks journalists, politicians and ‘influencers’ who criticize him from social networks

Bolsonaro blocks Social Networks

According to the Human Rights Watch complaint, this practice violates the right to freedom of expression and access to information.

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is blocking in their social networks to citizens who criticize him, according to complaint the organization Human Rights Watch, which says it is a violation of their right to freedom of expression and access to information.

The organization has verified the blocking of 176 accounts, especially on Twitter, among which are those of journalists, congressmen, ‘influencers’ and anonymous citizens, as well as the media and non-governmental organizations. Human Rights Watch does not rule out that the real number is much higher.

“President Bolsonaro uses social media as an important means of communication and interaction with the public,” said Maria Laura Canineu, director for Brazil at Human Rights Watch. “However, he is trying to eliminate people and institutions that do not agree with him from his accounts on social networks, and thus turn those networks into spaces where the only applause is allowed,” added Canineu, who believes that it is about a broader strategy “to silence or marginalize those who criticize him.”

Bolsonaro has used social media to make official announcements, criticize political rivals, or demonstrate foreign policy, among other issues. In fact, the networks are considered to be key in their electoral victory in 2018.

The Brazilian president’s Twitter profile has 6.9 million followers, his Facebook account has just over 14 million, while his Instagram account reaches 18.6 million.