Thursday, September 24, 2009

Learn the care that bloggers should have time to campaign in the network

Although the electoral reform at liberty to blogs, forums and social networks, Internet users need to follow some recommendations for elections.

Popular pressure before the vote on amendments relating to the use of the Internet on electoral reform forced the Senator and rapporteur of Bill 141, 2009, Eduardo Azeredo (PSDB-MG), to change the text of the article which stipulated restrictions on the use of the Web during the elections.

To be approved by the Senate, the final text before the controversial Article 57-D was condensed into six lines that guarantee freedom of expression of thought by websites, services, blogs and social networks, with possible problems with abuse being assessed according to the Constitution federal.

This means that you are completely free of legal problems when they express support for their candidate or criticize other candidates for public office in blogs, social networks and forums? Far from it.

IDG Now! compiled questions and possible distortions related to the two main restrictions contained in the final electoral reform - the anonymity and the right of reply. This information can help bloggers to avoid problems during the elections of 2010.

The purpose of the ban on anonymous election fund is noble, and reminded again and again by the Senators present at the plenary session that adopted the electoral reform: it is a way to curb attacks and offenses committed against a candidate who hides behind anonymity.

There are, however, a problem with the vague definition of anonymity in the text, argues researcher and professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Marcelo Träsel.

"The problem is that this paragraph does not define what is anonymity," he said. He argues that even those who blog using nicknames (even though their identities are widely known) can be classified as anonymous as possible in a legal interpretation.

Another possibility suggested by the researcher is a comment made in the name (real) of another person. Even if use first and last name, "no guarantees that the same (person) who is speaking. This is no longer an electoral crime, but false election," he says.

Both possibilities should be taken into account by the most preventable. "If I were to give a suggestion to a blogger, I would say to sign comments with your own name and those who are moderate anonymous," he explains. The advice also applies to those who operate an online forum or social networking communities for political debate.

In a less extreme scenario, Träsel considering the possibility of contacting the candidate criticized for anonymous reader so that a formal response as soon as the comment goes live, which would prevent the interpretation of defamation on the part of its policy.

Neither the law, however, can prevent defamatory blogs are created in services hosted outside of Brazil or companies with operations in Brazil. Situations like these that almost make it impossible to breach of confidentiality required by the Court to reach the guilty and impose the discipline provided by the Constitution.

Caution, of course, translates into a greater effort by those who care for blogs, social networking communities and forums. "In the end, the blogger is responsible for what is on site," summarizes. The effort, however, is also the enemy of justice. "Who will police this?, Questions Träsel.

Right of reply
The question raised by the researcher's view echoes professor of Communication and Arts (ECA), University of São Paulo (USP), Massimo di Felice, commenting on the questions involved in the second restriction referred to bloggers in the final electoral reform: the right of reply.

By providing that a blogger should open your blog to answer a candidate supposedly offended by using the same weight and double the exposure time of the original content, electoral reform emulates the Internet restrictions that make sense in analog media - radio and TV For example, such as reduced space for programming.

For the law to become applicable, Felice would be tracked throughout the network. "I want to see who will be monitoring all site and blog to see if there are attacks on a candidate. On the TV was easy, there are seven or eight channels. Now, it is objectively impossible to apply. This is a comic law, something absolutely hilarious" he told the IDG News Service.

For the blogger, in practice the distortion can guide users more cautious to consult lawyers before publishing potentially offensive content on a platform on relevance, so there is no undue exploitation of Article 58.

The inability of law enforcement as proposed, Felice says, shows how, as much as in theory there is danger to bloggers, the trend in practice is to have your application in "very extreme cases, with a huge defamation," which should be punished as an example for other states Träsel. Still, a little caution never hurt anyone.