Should Google pay for news in Brazil? It’s complicated


The payment for news content was a hushed addition to a draft legislation whose stated aim is to mitigate the effects of disinformation. Dubbed the “Fake News Bill,” it would force tech giants to have an office in Brazil and to be more transparent and accountable about their users in the country as well as about actions taken to tackle mis- and disinformation. On top of that, massive, automated manipulation campaigns would be criminalized. But while there seems to be a consensus that social media platforms must be regulated, Brazilian journalists like me are on the fence about the payment for news.


In Brazil, the bill mentioned that news companies would receive copyrights and mentioned 'professional journalism' as a dividing line between content that should and should not be paid for — a definition we all know is hard to pin down. Further details would be up to the federal government controlled by Jair Bolsonaro, who has engaged in record-breaking backlash against journalists in Brazil."

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