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Dean of UFRJ publishes article speaking out against attacks on NetLab


UFRJ School of Communication/Photo: UFRJ

This Wednesday (12/06), the Dean of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Roberto Medronho, came out in defense of NetLab. The UFRJ research laboratory at the University's School of Communication has been carrying out internet studies and social networks since 2013 and has suffered several attacks in recent weeks. 


In 2023, NetLab notified the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon), an organ under the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP), of problems involving Meta. The company was subsequently fined for continuing to broadcast fraudulent advertisements on their platforms, which was revealed by Netlab's research. As a result, the big tech company that controls Instagram and Facebook tried to disqualify NetLab researchers after receiving a fine from Brazilian authorities, as reported in an article by Núcleo. 


Furthermore, supporters of the former President of the Republic and politicians opposing the current government have exploited NetLab's transparency policy to raise unfounded suspicions about the relationship between research carried out by the laboratory and funding received via federal entities. In addition, parliamentarians also made requests to the Chamber to request information about the Laboratory. 


A request for a public hearing at the Public Security and Fight against Organized Crime Committee of the Chamber of Deputies that aims to question the results of research conducted by NetLab was forwarded to the University. According to the Dean, the initiative aims to censor science in Brazil, criminalizing teachers and researchers.


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