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WhatsApp admits illegal bulk messaging in 2018 Eleies | Social networks

WhatsApp admitted for the first time the illegal sending of mass messages in the 2018 Elections, with automated systems hired by companies. The presidential dispute was led by candidates Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) and Fernando Haddad (PT), with victory of the former. The information is from a newspaper report. St. Paul's Leaf this Tuesday (8).

"In the Brazilian election last year, soft messaging providers acted in violation of our terms of use to reach a large number of people," said Ben Supple, WhatsApp's global public policy and election manager. talk at the Gabo Festival. Since the election period, the application has been making changes that seek to combat the spread of fake news.

WhatsApp banned: app blocks thousands of accounts in election period

WhatsApp admitted for the first time the illegal sending of messages in the 2018 Elections. Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudoWhatsApp admitted for the first time the illegal sending of messages in the 2018 Elections. Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

WhatsApp admitted for the first time the illegal sending of messages in the 2018 Elections. Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

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The WhatsApp executive criticized public groups accessed through links that disseminate political content and advised users to report them. "We see these groups as hyped tabloids, where people want to spread a message to an audience and usually spread the most controversial and problematic content," he said. "Our vision: Don't get into these big groups with people you don't know. Leave these groups and report them."

Supple also said the company discourages the "use of groups as content transmission lists," as is the case with many groups of policy supporters. He explained, however, that the use of WhatsApp by political campaigns does not violate the terms of use of the platform, provided that methods of automation and mass sending are not used. It is noteworthy that firing mass messages from automated systems is a practice prohibited by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

The executive recognized the app's influence on electoral processes. "We know elections can be won or lost on WhatsApp," said Supple, who highlighted the steps the company has taken to block non-compliant accounts by doing automated bulk uploads. According to him, since the number of referrals for a message was limited to a maximum of five people or groups, the total forwarding rate has dropped by 25%.

O TechTudo contacted WhatsApp staff, who responded with the following note from the app spokesperson:

Prior to last year's runoff election, WhatsApp announced that it had already banned hundreds of thousands of accounts for attempting to send mass or automated content during the election period. We also notified companies that they claimed to offer bulk messaging services, a violation of our terms of service. We are always working to refine our systems to prevent WhatsApp abuse.

WhatsApp x fake news in the Brazilian elections

During the last Brazilian election period, WhatsApp banned hundreds of thousands of accounts suspected of sharing fake news. The list includes numbers of agencies that market mass message triggers.

In August 2018, as a measure to combat the fake news, the app has restricted text, photo, and video forwarding to a maximum of 20 people simultaneously. So far, WhatsApp allowed the same content to be sent to more than 200 contacts. In January, after the elections, the current limit of only five contacts at a time was announced.

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