Wiki Movement Brazil UG statement on proposal 2630/2020
July 14, 2020
Wiki Movement Brazil expresses its concerns about the legislative proposal 2630/2020 (known as the “Fake News bill”) that has been approved in the Brazilian Senate and is currently being discussed at the House of Representatives. Initially proposed as a measure against misinformation, we highlight that the proposed bill, in its current version that is before the House of Representatives, may actually contradict and become an obstacle the the functioning of the platforms that work to limit the spread of fake news.
An affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wiki Movement Brazil is an association of editors of collaborative projects, such as Wikipedia. This year, the non-profit encyclopedia, the largest open educational resource in the world, was accessed more than two billion times in Portuguese. The mission of Wikipedia and the community that produces it is to offer quality information. For that, its fundamentals involve verifying and referencing all pieces of information that are included and ensuring the impartiality of points of view. The quality of Wikipedia’s content that is published under an open license allows its reuse as a resource to prevent the spread of misinformation on several other digital platforms.
More specifically, we note that, among other points of concern,
- The overly open definitions of services covered by the proposed bill generate serious legal uncertainty for open educational resources, such as Wikimedia projects;
- The requirement to identify users is incompatible with the functioning and success of open collaborative projects, which rely on the privacy of their contributors, including Wikimedia projects;
- Differentiating users based on their nationalities becomes an obstacle to collaboration across borders on the internet; in the Wikimedia projects’ case, it creates obstacles to collaboration between Portuguese-speaking communities in several countries.
In addition, we echo the points of concern of other civil society entities regarding the legislative proposal 2630/2020, in particular those of the Coalizão Direitos na Rede. We also request public hearings in the Congress so that members of civil society can present more effective measures to combat misinformation.