The agribusiness observatory in Brazil, Keeping an eye on the ruralists, you have the account in the Instagram felled since last Thursday (4). The reason given by the company for taking down the profile of journalistic dissemination with nearly 25,000 followers is generic. According to the Instagram notice, the content posted was deemed “inappropriate or abusive”.
In note, the Keeping an eye on the ruralists points out that, thus, “the hypothesis is only raised that readers who are refractory to our content have the power to take down the page of a press vehicle”.
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For Bruno Bassi, project coordinator at the observatory, this is an “abject censorship”, given that the group Facebook – owner of Instagram – “allows (and even encourages) the propagation of fake news, hate speech and persecution of minorities”. It’s already been down for five days and, despite repeated contacts, the platform has not yet returned.
Founded in 2016, the Keeping an eye on the ruralists produces reports, videos, investigations and checks focusing on themes related to agribusiness, human rights and the environment.
Two days before having its profile taken down, the vehicle had started to publicize an international campaign that it is integrating. Under the title “Brazil in Collapse”, the project deals with ongoing destruction in the country made possible by the Bolsonaro government, such as the hundreds of thousands of deaths from the pandemic and deforestation.
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“We give the name to oxen and point out the economic power behind the socio-environmental destruction in Brazil, without complicity with companies and their owners. Maybe that’s why we bother so much”, says Bruno Bassi.
Free Journalists also had their page dropped
Last month, the collective Free Journalists faced similar problem. After reporting posts linking the Bolsonaro government with racism and femicide, they had the account – with more than 600,000 followers – taken off the air.
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After 24 hours, however, they managed to retrieve the page on the Instagram and the company itself apologized. “We had already been suffering a series of attacks by trolls Pocketnaristas”, narrated in a statement the collective Free Journalists: “Every time we denounced the horror that the militia’s rhetoric and his accomplices contain, combined with the darker past of colonialism and slavery”.
Edition: Leandro Melito