WhatsApp released an overall assessment of its actions to combat misinformation in the 2020 Municipal Elections. As a result, the application banned more than 360,000 accounts in Brazil in three months, for violating the platform’s policies by mass messaging .
According to the report, between September 27 and November 29, WhatsApp received 4,981 complaints through a tool developed in partnership with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Of these accounts, 1,042 were banned – 64% of them were automatically blocked by the application’s integrity system.
In addition to the reports reported by the TSE channel, the messenger also excluded accounts for massive or automated message sending (spam) with the help of machine learning technology. In all, more than 360,000 profiles were blocked and disabled – below the 400,000 accounts banned in the 2018 presidential elections.
The partnership between TSE and WhatsApp to combat the mass firing of messages in the 2020 elections gave citizens the power to denounce these illegal practices that can unbalance the electoral game. This and other partnerships signed by the Court to tackle disinformation contributed to voters having access to quality information during the electoral period and to the strengthening of Brazilian democracy.
Aline Osorio, secretary general of the TSE Presidency and coordinator of the Court’s Program to Combat Disinformation.
WhatsApp and TSE celebrate successful partnership
For Dario Durigan, Head of Public Policies for WhatsApp on Facebook Brazil, the partnership was crucial to curb misinformation during the 2020 Municipal Elections. In addition to the whistleblowing channel, the entities collaborated in the creation of “Electoral Dispatch on WhatsApp”, an chatbot to promote the circulation of reliable information during the past three months.
This tool will remain active until December 20, the date of the eventual second round of elections in Macapá. WhatsApp was also with the TSE to train servers of the Regional Electoral Courts (TREs) to combat misinformation on the web.