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Is it necessary to regulate the platforms?

Conexão UFRJ - June 29, 2023

Brazilians are the third largest users of social networks in the world, behind only Indians and Indonesians. According to a survey by Comscore, an internet behavior data analysis company, we spent 356 billion minutes on networks from the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2021. It is no wonder that the Brazilian territory arouses the interest of large digital platforms, such as Google and Meta. Unlike other countries, Brazil does not have specific regulations for the performance of these companies in the digital environment. This scenario, however, can create obstacles to the security and privacy of users and even to democratic stability, according to studies by UFRJ.

UFRJ's Internet and Social Media Laboratory (Netlab), in partnership with the international organization Global Witness, carried out a series of studies aimed at monitoring advertisements on the internet and the way they are being linked. During more than a year of research, the team concluded that the lack of transparency and adequate supervision in these impulses leads to the mass dissemination of scamming and false advertisements in the digital environment, mainly in the Meta group, the research focus of the groups.

According to Carlos Eduardo Barros, project coordinator and assistant researcher at the Laboratory, the central question is in the mediation of the contents, which is carried out by the algorithms themselves. Although there is a curation carried out by experts, he explains that, in addition to the volume of ads being very extensive, which makes filtering difficult, there may be unidentified financial interests, since the platforms receive remuneration from advertisers.


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