WITNESS Featured in NBC News

Fake news shadowed the Brazilian election last week as disinformation quickly spread across the popular Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp to help far-right front-runner Jair Bolsonaro achieve victory.

Bolsonaro had been getting an illegal helping hand from a group of businessmen who were bankrolling a campaign to bombard WhatsApp users with fake news about the opposition candidate.

Researchers have found that fake news stories and rumors spread quickly via person-to-person and group messages on the app, using its features in culturally specific ways or taking advantage of third-party workarounds to add extra layers of utility — and creating new avenues of potential abuse in the process.

Our Senior Program Manager Priscila Neri recently sat down with NBC News to talk about how WhatsApp became linked to mob violence and fake news. Read the article here.


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