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Chief Justice Dias Toffoli rejects trivialisation of attacks on democracy

The Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Justice Dias Toffoli, said on Thursday (18) that it is not possible to trivialize the threats and attacks on democratic institutions or the risks of the "dictatorship of relativism" for democracy. According to the Chief Justice, the massive dissemination of fraudulent news (fake news) generates campaigns of misinformation with the aim of creating chaos, through the continuous agitation of public opinion and the stimulus to division and institutional and social conflict. "The trivialization of the hate that comes from fake news is a fungus that grows and spreads from itself. Its goal is to multiply chaos," said the Chief Justice, when voting for the dismissal of the Action Against Violation of a Constitutional Fundamental Precept (ADPF) 572, which discussed the constitutionality of the establishment of Inquiry 4781 to investigate fraudulent news and threats to the STF.

Feeding the Hate

The Chief Justice noted that the freedom of speech and the freedom of reliable information are complementary. In this sense, combating misinformation is a way to guarantee the right to information, to knowledge and to free thought, necessary conditions for the full exercise of the freedom of speech. "However, the freedom of speech does not support the feeding of hate, intolerance and disinformation," he said. "These situations represent the abusive exercise of this right".

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