Deputy asks for explanations after Weintraub tries to edit Wikipedia | Brazil

The attempt by the Ministry of Education (MEC) to edit Minister Abraham Weintraub’s entry on Wikipedia led to a formal request for explanations in the Chamber of Deputies. Deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ) requested details on the use of the folder to “embarrass” site administrators.

Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub (Photo: Luis Fortes / MEC - 04/09/2019)

In a request submitted on Wednesday (4), the deputy asks Minister Weintraub to inform what legal basis the MEC would have to adopt “appropriate judicial measures” if the edition of its Wikipedia entry was not released.

Freixo refers to an email sent in August to Portuguese Wikipedia administrators. At the time, the ministry said it would take legal action if it did not have a response to its request to release the entry.

Wikipedia maintained an edit block on the page to avoid “excessive vandalism” in editions, but decided to remove it after MEC’s ​​request. The portfolio argued that the ban prevented the minister from “exercising his right to ample defense and the adversary.”

The application asks which sections of the entry are incorrect and which should have been included. In its e-mail to Wikipedia, the Ministry of Education did not detail misleading points in the entry, but cited passages about “contingency” and the minister’s personal life.

Before asking for the release of the edition, the MEC requested its exclusion from the minister’s entry on Wikipedia. “The page contains unconfirmed information with the public person now highlighted, contributing to dubious interpretations”, said the e-mail sent in July.

The document presented by Freixo also questions the legal basis for using the ministry’s advice in a non-institutional defense of Abraham Weintraub. The deputy also asks if the MEC has a different understanding than the STF (Supreme Federal Court), which guarantees freedom of journalistic expression without prior censorship.

In his justification for the request, he criticizes the MEC’s ​​attempt to interfere with Wikipedia.

“Such an attitude demonstrates the use of state power to censor the platform and restrict the right to information. In addition, it demonstrates a reckless use of the Institution for the personal defense of Abraham Weintraub’s trajectory ”.

With information: Folha de S.Paulo, Chamber of Deputies.

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