Senate President: Bolsonaro’s new social media bill won’t get priority

social media bill bolsonaro
The Brazilian Senate. Photo: Roque de Sá/SF/CC-BY 4.0

Speaking to reporters, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said a bill proposed by President Jair Bolsonaro to tame social media platforms’ power to remove disinformative content will be treated as any regular bill, without receiving any special priority. Last week, Mr. Pacheco had already struck down an almost identical provisional decree, issued by the government. 

Provisional decrees are submitted by the president’s office and hold the same value as laws. But though they take immediate effect, Congress must confirm them within 120 days, or they expire. Said decrees must also legislate on “urgent” matters, which is why Mr. Pacheco turned the social media decree down.

With his typically ambiguous manner, Mr. Pacheco attempted to play both sides in the debate. “We will have all the goodwill to examine possible changes [to internet regulations]. But we have to protect our children, our youth, and our families from the evil of online abuse.”