According to an interview published in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo on May 30, 2022, the Brazilian Federal Police are currently constituting a group to monitor social media for the purpose of combating fake news during the general elections to be held on October 2, 2022.
The group will be part of the electoral crimes division of the Federal Police and subordinate to Cleo Matusiak Mazzotti, the general-coordinator of the department responsible for cracking down on tax crimes. Mazzotti stated in the O Globo interview that the group is expected to start working in August 2022 and that he anticipates that 2,000 inquiries to investigate fake news and other possible crimes will be opened in the electoral area. He further mentioned that the Federal Police currently have 5,000 inquiries to investigate electoral crimes that are provided for in the Electoral Code (Código Eleitoral, Lei No. 4.737, de 15 de Julho de 1965, arts. 289–354-A), which include, but are not limited to, accusations of misrepresentation, corruption for electoral purposes, fraudulent registration of voters, and embezzlement.The use of fake news during the general elections would fall under article 323 of the Electoral Code, which states that to disclose, in electoral propaganda or during the electoral campaign period, facts that a person knows are untrue in relation to parties or candidates and are capable of exerting influence over the electorate is punishable by two months to one year in prison or the payment of a fine. Furthermore, anyone who produces, offers, or sells a video with untrue content about parties or candidates would incur the same punishment. (Electoral Code art. 323(§ 1).) The punishment is increased by one-third to one-half if the crime is committed through the press, radio, or television, or through the internet or a social network, or is broadcast in real time, or involves contempt or discrimination against the condition of a woman or her color, race, or ethnicity. (Art. 323(§ 2).)