Brazil approves law that makes cyberbullying a crime cover image

Brazil approves law that makes cyberbullying a crime

Cyberbullying is now a crime that can result in two to four years in prison.

A law in Brazil has determined that cyberbullying is a crime. The law focuses on the National Policy for the Prevention and Combat of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents.

Brazil sees cyberbullying as a crime

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the law that made cyberbullying a crime in Brazil. The official text for the law is on the Diário Oficial da União" website, which is used for communicating federal information.

The date of the law is Jan.12, but it was published on the website on Jan. 15 (Image via Diário Oficial da União)
The date of the law is Jan.12, but it was published on the website on Jan. 15 (Image via Diário Oficial da União)

Article 146-A of the law notes that bullying consists of systematic intimidation, while cyberbullying consists of virtual systematic intimidation.

What does the law say about bullying and cyberbullying?

According to the Diário Oficial da União website, bullying is defined as "Systematically intimidating, individually or in a group, through physical or psychological violence, one or more people, intentionally and repetitively, without evident motivation, through acts of intimidation, humiliation or discrimination, or verbal, moral, sexual, social, psychological, physical, material, or virtual actions."

If the conduct is not more serious, bullying will be penalized with a fine. Meanwhile, cyberbullying will have a sentence of two to four years. It could have a fine, if equally, the conduct does not constitute a more serious crime.

A crime of cyberbullying is when "the conduct is carried out through a computer network, social network, applications, online games, or through any other digital means or digital environment or shared in real time."

On X, João de Senzi, a lawyer for influencers, streamers, and YouTubers noted that the law "represents a significant step towards guaranteeing legal protection to those persecuted on the internet through systematic violence."

Brazil and online games

This is not the first time that online games have been a topic for Brazil with the current president. Lula da Silva has previously criticized online games. The president believes that games result in violence among children.

Ana Moser, the former Minister of Sports, started the year 2023 by saying that esports are not sports. The politician even said that esports is an entertainment industry. However, the new minister, André Fufuca, said that it is impossible to deny the importance of esports in the country.

"There are several types of games — the world champions of which are from Brazil,"

"There are several types of games of which the world champions are from Brazil," André Fufuca told ESPN in an interview. In the past, André also announced the creation of an esports board.

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