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Fernando Haddad is a Brazilian politician and the Worker’s Party candidate for President of Brazil in the 2018 election. On October 14 Haddad released his government plan onto the blockchain to combat the dissemination of false information about his campaign. Haddad has had a long history of issues with fake news with the 2018 election being the most polarized in recent history. Those in politics and the digital industry have said the amount of lies being spread on Facebook and WhatsApp has posed a genuine threat to the election.
To try and combat the issue Haddad has released a government plan recorded in blockchain, making it incorruptible. Blockchain is most well known for its uses in cryptocurrency but has widespread uses as this move shows.
Haddad’s Innovative Record
Haddad has long been a supporter of new technological frontiers; in the past, he has supported using free software to increase transparency and impact across public services. He also won the Mayors Challenge Innovation Award and netted a prize of $5 million for the city of São Paulo for coming first place. The competition is for mayors across Latin America and the Caribbean. Haddad was recognised for his work on a project that connects small producers of organic foods to markets and restaurants. Winning this award was no easy feat with 290 cities representing 19 countries in the race.
Blockchain and the Political Landscape
This isn’t the first time blockchain has entered the political landscape in Brazil, with discussions around blockchain cropping up over recent years. Officials from all over Brazil have proposed its use in public services and as a means to combat corruption.
Haddad isn’t the only presidential candidate supporting blockchain technology; candidates Marina Silva and João Amoêdo have also expressed support for the technology. Haddad remains the first candidate to make the jump to storing his plan in blockchain, but there’s a possibility other nominees will make similar moves with fake news being a major talking point of the election.
This move has the potential to change the way politics is handled not just in Brazil, but across the world in countries that are having issues with fake news. We are yet to see the impact of move in Brazil, but Brazil works as a great example of its use with how chronic their disinformation networks are. In a survey of 2000 politically active people, 47% said they use WhatsApp for their political information and 87% reported seeing fake news while using the app.