....and so does any other Internet publisher big or small that publishes political content.
According to a blog round-up on the excellent Global Voices, the top election law body in Brazil has created a legal environment where:
Broadcasting of any political propaganda on the Internet, radio or television - including, among others, community radio stations and television channels operating in UHF, VHF and by subscription - and, besides, rallies or public meetings are prohibited, from 48 hours before through 24 hours after the election.
This means that a blogger might need to black out a post advocating a candidate two days prior to election day. It means that questions over whether YouTube, for example, would be responsible to pull all Brazilian election content would be raised.
And, speaking of YouTube, just to get a sense of the Internet reading level that the Brazilian ministers were operating under, the Global Voices post translates the words of a Brazilian judge writing about the opinion:
As I heard the arguments being presented, I was increasingly surprised in face of the ministers' lack of knowledge to understand what the Internet is. It seemed - and this impression was very strong - that they did not know what they were talking about. To get an idea, Youtube was turned into U2.
Ultimately, this lack of understanding led to a confused opinion:
In the end, the decision was a clear sample that they did not know what they were deciding right then. It was decided that to the extent that problems arise, they would be dealt with, case by case. This is great for lawyers and too bad for voters, who are left with a Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads without knowing what they can and can not do.
I've said it before: The Internet has created the greatest generational divide since Rock 'n' Roll. This borderless divide has also proven that cultures of all stripes have the ability to enact profoundly counterproductive (and technically impossible) rules that increase the chasm between both sides.