Between Mark Zuckerberg and Ernesto Araújo, Why It’s Better To Keep the Latter

Mario Frias beat his chest the other day.

“I will not allow any kind of censorship,” said the former actor from the series Malhação and now Jair Bolsonaro’s secretary of Culture, referring to YouTube’s blocking of a Bolsonarist blogger.

Today, the newspaper O Globo reported that Brazil is preparing to take proposals to combat what Chancellor Ernesto Araújo calls “technototalitarianism” to the G-20 and the U.N. General Assembly.

It is good that the Brazilian government takes up the debate over the digital giants’ superpowers — especially that of silencing whomever they want at the moment they find most convenient. Too bad the endeavor is useless.

First because, in the eyes of the civilized world, Bolsonaro’s Brazil today embodies little less than absolute evil — it represents the negation of all the triumphant values ​​of today (the preservation of the environment being only the most visible). So, in practical terms, any flag that the country raises in any international forum will be, on the face, a singed flag.

All of Araújo’s efforts to name big tech as the enemy of the season were born from Twitter’s ban of Republican Donald Trump and, more recently, the blocking of Bolsonarist bloggers on some platforms.

Anyone who, like this columnist, believes that Trump was the victim of censorship by digital tycoons more interested in taking advantage of the Democratic winds in order to inflate their profitable business than in purifying the world of evil Republicans, is obliged to tolerate Bolsonarist bloggers disseminating outrageous lies and rants on social media, such as that the former American president “won the election, but is pretending he lost to confirm fraud in the electoral process.”

Hearing hateful or simply stupid things is part of the price of living in a free society.

The military dictatorship censored the “subversive” demonstrations of opponents of the regime on the pretext of protecting society from communist danger. Part of the left now advocates that Mark Zuckerberg’s censorship of Bolsonarist bloggers protects society from fake news.

In the end, every censor is supported by the argument that he acts in the name of good (which does not prevent him from feeling a secret joy at the sight of the muzzled-up opponent). The problem is that whoever silences today can be silenced tomorrow.

Government opponents could well remember this and take up Araújo’s banner of “anti-technototalitarianism” soon, before Bolsonarism drags it into the mud.

** This text does not necessarily reflect UOL’s opinion.

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