the google voter

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By EUGENIO BUCCI*

What Google made public on May XNUMXst was an opinionated editorial, as if it were an ordinary newspaper. Acted like it was press

We already knew the google translator (common “translator”), google meet, google calendar, google this and google that. There are many of them, assorted, like the different heads of a clever hydra. Now, during the May XNUMXst weekend, Brazil was presented to Google voters. This is the one who takes part in the decision-making processes of a sovereign nation – namely, Brazil. It openly interferes with a deliberation that should be confined to the voters of this land and their representatives in parliament. The Google voter is a bit of an “entrão”: it exercises citizenship that, until last week, it did not have.

Now it has. Everyone saw. In these days, as the Chamber of Deputies approached the voting date of Bill 2.630 (the PL of the Fake News), scheduled for last Tuesday, May 2, social networks were wildly excited. The civic bubbles went beyond the usual bickering between humans, robots and inhumans. The platforms themselves began to act as if they were lobbyists, and that without disguises. So the biggest search engine in the country took sides. “Google placed on its home page a link to the article against the proposal,” reported the newspaper The State of S. Paul on your front page.

That's right. In an atypical, unexpected and blackmailing conduct, the planetary digital oracle went all out in the campaign to overthrow the PL voting date, and the most incredible thing is that it succeeded. Got the better of it. On Tuesday itself, the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), announced the postponement of the agenda. It was an anticlimax. The owner of Google, called Alphabet, which also owns YouTube, has taken the leadership of the histrionic and burlesque chain of those people who speak out against censorship while militating to liquidate the freedom and rights of others. No, that wasn't common in these plagues.

Now we are in a scene that is difficult to explain and even more difficult to understand. Artificial Intelligence seems to have learned that Brazil, which was never for beginners, is there at the whim of experienced agents, even when born foreigners. In other words, Artificial Intelligence ascended to the enlightenment of knowing that for digital adventurers, the season is open to make use of the destinies of this earth.

That said, there are questions that do not want to silence. Will the famous platform interfere in the mayoral elections next year? Are you going to bet on some candidates for city council, to the detriment of other candidates? And in 2026, will it favor presidential candidates? How far will Google voter tentacles reach?

You can have your criticisms of PL 2.630, where we even found punctuation errors. The project has successes, widely recognized, but it is not without flaws. Therefore, you can say that, in the drafting of the articles that were supposed to go to the plenary vote the day before yesterday, deputies and senators were granted too much protection, while people without a mandate were at the mercy of somewhat unfathomable controls. You can also claim that there are vague concepts in the legal text, as well as you will be able to observe that a regulatory agency with a clearly demarcated mandate, competence and scope is needed.

Anyway, you can even be in frontal disagreement with the infamous PL 2.630, but you cannot deny, not even you, that this business of a giant of digital capitalism, a big tech headquartered in the United States, closing ranks with late Bolsonarism proceres in a public controversy, which hurts the nerve of the national interest, is beyond weird. Could it be that the nation could resolve this crossroads of its destiny on its own? Do we Brazilians need to be tutored by a global monopoly conglomerate?

And that's not all. What Google made public on May XNUMXst was an opinionated editorial, as if it were an ordinary newspaper. He acted as if he were the press – precisely he, who lives by arguing, in his defense, that he has nothing to do with the press and, therefore, cannot bear editorial responsibility. Yes, this time the superplatform behaved like a conventional diary.

This adds further complications to our embarrassing equation. Democracies have the habit of entrusting the mediation of public debate – a function classically performed by the media – to those who have the nationality of that country. Nothing more obvious. The internal decisions of a national society and a State must be the responsibility of those who were born there, live there and intend to continue living there.

In Brazil, the same caution appears in Article 222 of the Federal Constitution: “Ownership of a journalistic company and of sound and image broadcasting is exclusive to Brazilians who are born or naturalized for more than ten years, or to legal entities constituted under the laws companies that are headquartered in the country”. This does not mean, of course, that google cannot operate in Brazil; it just means that he shouldn't set himself up to lead the internal decision-making processes of our democracy. Something is out of order, out of place, out of order.

* Eugene Bucci He is a professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP. Author, among other books, of The superindustry of the imaginary (authentic).

Originally published in the newspaper The State of S. Paul .


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