New book analyzes strategies to combat fake news

The study looked at bills submitted to Congress and decisions made by Brazilian courts in cases dealing with fake news.
17 October 2022
New book analyzes strategies to combat fake news


Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Rio de Janeiro Law School has just launched a book called “Estratégias Contra Fake News” (“Strategies Against Fake News”), coordinated by Professor Eduardo Jordão, in collaboration with researchers Bernardo Schwaitzer, Felipe Godoy, Felipe Roquete, Gianne Lima, Guilherme Aleixo, Julia Martel and Lucas Thevenard.

The book, the result of an empirical research study carried out as part of the Regulatory Law Graduate Program at the FGV Rio de Janeiro Law School, is available free of charge on the FGV Digital Library website.

The study examined strategies developed by Brazilian state institutions to combat fake news. In particular, it looked at bills submitted to Congress and decisions made by Brazilian courts in cases dealing with fake news.

In order to analyze Congress’ proposals to tackle fake news, the research project compiled a database of all 190 bills related to this topic since 2010. These bills were then analyzed empirically to identify information such as the following:

- Which political parties were involved in drafting the most bills regarding fake news? How has the subject been treated by the right and left in Brazil?

- How is the concept of fake news defined in these bills?

- To which stakeholders do these bills assign obligations and responsibilities? What types of penalties are proposed to curb the spread of fake news?

As well as mapping these issues and the full range of bills that Congress has debated, the book also provides a closer examination of parliamentary discussion about Bill 2,630 of 2020, known as the “Fake News Bill.”

The book also looks at court rulings, in an attempt to understand how the topic has been dealt with by the Brazilian judiciary in the absence of a regulatory framework specifically aimed at combating fake news. In particular, the researchers sought to understand how the judiciary has applied existing laws when ruling on cases involving the phenomenon of fake news.

The researchers identified themes and cases in which there has been repeated judicial action, meaning that fake news-related issues were resolved in the absence of any changes to laws and legal parameters. In other cases, on the other hand, the phenomenon of fake news played a significant role in the use of applicable legal rules, giving rise to judicial solutions that were distinguished at some point due to elements associated with fake news.

As Professor Eduardo Jordão observed, “By launching this book, these FGV Rio de Janeiro Law School researchers intend to promote empirically grounded discussion with different stakeholders about a topic that is very relevant at the moment. In particular, these studies show how important institutional actors (parliamentarians and judges) have sought to tackle this major social problem.”

You can obtain the book here.


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