Brazilian environment disinformation network has ties to military

Brazilian environment disinformation network has ties to military Foto: Bruno Kelly/Amzonia Real.

Meta, the owners of Facebook, have announced that it has removed a number of Brazilian environment disinformation pages that is says are tied to the country’s military.

According the social media company, those involved posed as fake non-profit organisations who attempted to downplay the dangers of deforestation

An investigation by Meta found that those involved were active members of Brazils military, however it wasn’t able to determine whether they were acting alone or on orders from above.

The news of the fake accounts appeared in Facebook’s quarterly report, which said that this was the first network devoted to environmental issues to be shutdown.

The report could be damaging for the right-wing and environmental sceptic President Jair Bolsanaro, himself a former captain in the country’s armed forces. Although a sceptic he has sent numerous army units to the Amazon to try and stem the deforestation, however they have achieved little success.

The news could however work in his favour with his followers like Bolsanro, believing that US tech firms are stifling free speech.

Bolsanaro has been accused in the past of using social media to undermine public institutions in Brazil and this will vindicate those who made such claims.

Meta said: “In 2021, they created Pages that posed as fictitious NGOs and activists focused on environmental issues in the Amazonas region of Brazil. They posted about deforestation, including arguing that not all of it is harmful, and criticizing legitimate environmental NGOs who spoke out against deforestation in the Amazon.

“Although the people behind (the network) attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Brazilian Military.”

Meta declined to provide additional information about its investigation, with Brazil’s army also requesting more details saying that it required all of its members to practice “truth, probity and honesty.”

The Meta information will put more pressure on Bolsanaro to deal with destruction of the environment in Brazil, as it will calls for him to root out and deal with those involved.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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