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Facebook vs Brazil - Indigenous Outrage

The Right to Defend Freedom of Expression

Facebook has removed censorship of a photo published on the Ministry of Culture of Brazil's page, after the Brazilian government threatened to take legal action against the social network.


The photograph was part of a web portal called “Brasiliana Fotográfica” which contained historical photos from the 19th and 20th centuries. The photo was a particularly important element of the collection as it was included due to the proximity of the Indigenous National Day. The image shows a man and a woman of Botocuda ethnicity in which they appear topless. Facebook removed the photo due to the company's global regulations. On the other hand, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Juca Ferreira, took the issue very seriously and accused the social network of violating the Brazilian national constitution, during a press conference in Brasilia.

Following the controversy, censorship was removed and the image was published again. The Minister took pride in such victory describing it as a “triumph of the Indigenous people, and Brazilian people in general and an affirmation of the Government's dignity”. The Minister still asserted however, that legal action would still proceed even after Facebook's concession.

One of Facebook's representatives responded to Ferreira's accusations justifying such censorship. In the written message sent to the Brazilian Minister he explained how it is not easy to find the right balance between freedom of expression and quality of experience of the service provided, and pointed out that the social network is always open to comments and suggestions on how to improve the quality of its service.

Written by Giovanni Manuel for Social Songbird
Edited by Sam Bonson

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Facebook vs Brazil - Indigenous Outrage Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Rating: 5

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