Bolsonaro blocks critics on social media, says rights group

Young journalists club

News ID: 52795
Publish Date: 8:19 - 19 August 2021
Thursday, 19 August 2021 (YJC)_Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights of freedom of speech and access to information, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

Bolsonaro blocks critics on social media, says rights groupThe rights group said it had identified 176 accounts that were blocked by Bolsonaro, including those of journalists, members of congress and social media influencers with more than a million followers.

Social media has been a key means of public communication for Bolsonaro, helping him win office in 2018 and interact with supporters. He has 6.9 million followers on his Twitter (TWTR.N) account, 14.2 million on Facebook (FB.O) and 18.6 million on Facebook's Instagram photo-sharing app.

"He is trying to rid his social media accounts of people and institutions that disagree with him and turn them into spaces where only applause is allowed," said Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil director at Human Rights Watch.

Blocked people can no longer comment on his posts, which prevents them from participating in public debate and stops journalists from asking questions, infringing on freedom of the press, Human Rights Watch said.

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