Brazil judge orders Facebook to cut 'fake news' on slain activist


Rio de Janeiro (AFP)

A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered Facebook to remove fake news posted about slain black rights' activist Marielle Franco.

Judge Jorge Jansen Counago Novelle, in Rio de Janeiro, gave the US-based giant 24 hours to pull "publications of false information with criminal content on the councilwoman Marielle Franco," the court said in a statement.

Franco was murdered March 14 and quickly hailed as an inspiring example of a black woman who had broken barriers by getting elected to Rio's white-dominated city council. She spoke out against often brutal police raids in the poor favela neighborhoods.

Two weeks after her apparent targeted killing, police have announced little progress in the investigation.

A false narrative emerged online in which she was accused of having been married to a drug gangster and receiving election campaign money from criminals. The allegations, some made by another Rio judge on Facebook, have since been discredited.

Judge Novelle wrote that his decision targeted "propagation of crimes like slander against the dead, and hatred and racial and gender prejudice against someone who can no longer defend herself."