“Democracy bends, but it doesn’t bend, and it doesn’t even break with fake news.” It was with this message that the minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Edson Fachin ended the last trial session of his term at the head of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Fachin leaves the Court next week and will be succeeded by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, who takes office on August 16.
Edson Fachin thanked him for the opportunity to serve the Republic in conducting the Electoral Justice over the last 175 days. According to him, the Court’s tasks were always aimed at the search for peace and security in the 2022 General Elections, whose path was guided by dialogue, by structuring the fight against disinformation and by efficiency in the management of the electoral process, “promoting the Electoral Justice to the uncompromising, peremptory and fearless defense of democracy”.
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The President of the Electoral Court emphatically recognized the efforts of fellow ministers, the Electoral Public Ministry, civil servants and employees of the Electoral Justice, who dedicated themselves to sharing the mission of improving the election process in the various functions.
“As president of the TSE, I leave with two unshakable certainties: the first is that democracy is unshakable to fake news, and that the Brazilian people will elect, with peace, security and transparency, a president of the Republic. The second is that Helena Kolody was right when she said that those who paint stars on the wall have the sky at their fingertips. Those who defend democracy touch it daily and live in a better country,” he said.
Calls for September 7 explode on WhatsApp
The circulation of messages with mentions of the 7th of September in WhatsApp groups exploded in the last week of July, with a growth of 290% compared to the same period in June, according to a survey by the WhatsApp Monitor of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) .
According to the survey, made at the request of a newspaper report Folha de S.Paulothe ten most shared messages cite calls by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) to supporters and are coup-oriented, with references to military intervention and dismissal of Supreme Court judges and false statements about electronic voting machines.
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There were 4,184 messages, 69% of which circulated in right-wing groups, 25.9% in undefined groups — with a political theme, but not clearly aligned with any ideology — and 5.1% in left-wing groups.
“Bolsonaro called on supporters to join him on 7 de Setembro, and this was naturally reflected in WhatsApp and Telegram groups, which have shown great mobilization, with the organization of caravans or conversations about 7 de Setembro as the last when they go to the streets”, said Fabrício Benevenuto, professor of computer science at UFMG and coordinator of the Eleções sem Fake project, to Folha de S.Paulo.
With information from the Superior Electoral Court.
Editing: Nicolau Soares