Justice Secretariat publishes ordinance with new guidelines for social networks in connection with attacks on schools


In brief

Justice Secretary Flavio Dino issued, on 04/12, an ordinance that makes it possible to hold digital platforms accountable for the dissemination of content that promotes violence in schools.

In more detail

The document sets forth specific obligations to platforms, such as the immediate removal of certain content after a request from the competent authorities, systemic risk assessment, adoption of measures to prevent the spread of new threats to schools and a policy of active content moderation by application providers. In addition, platforms must prepare reports to the Justice Secretariat analyzing the risk factors in the spread of certain illegal content, and whether recommendation algorithms or other algorithms employed by platforms, as well as the content moderation practices adopted contribute to such risk factors.

The report must also analyze if the terms of use of the platform contribute to the risk factors, and whether the platform has enforced its terms of use consistently. The ordinance also provides guidelines for the activities of the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) and the National Public Safety Secretariat (Senasp). The Justice Secretary pointed out that the regulation will be aimed exclusively at threats against students, children and adolescents.
 The ordinance provides, for example, that Senacon will institute administrative processes to determine the responsibility of each company in relation to the possible violation of what the Justice  Secretary called “duty of safety and care” of platforms in relation to violent content against schools. In these processes, platforms may be required to submit systemic risk assessment reports on the propagation of illicit content, information on the risk of access by children and adolescents to inappropriate content for their age, as well as content considered illegal and harmful, according to the ordinance.
Senacon may also request information about the risk of propagation and viralization of content and profiles that display violent extremism, encourage attacks on the school environment or support and incite these crimes or their perpetrators.
The ordinance also requires the sharing, between the platforms and police authorities, of data that allow the identification of the user or the terminal of the internet connection through which the user made available the content of violence against schools. This interaction will be coordinated by Senasp. Senasp may also order platforms to prevent the creation of new profiles from IP addresses where illegal, harmful and dangerous activities have already been detected.

The ordinance also provides for sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the foreseen obligations, which will occur within the scope of administrative or judicial proceedings, in accordance with the attributions of the competent bodies.
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