Google withdrew from the Playstore, its application store, a game that simulated transactions with slaves. The game was downloaded by more than a thousand people and the Brazilian MP opened an investigation.
A game that digitally simulated “slavery” transactions, allowing users to buy, sell and even torture black characters, has been pulled by Google from its app store after sparking controversy in Brazil.
The Brazilian Public Ministry has opened a hate speech investigation against the Portuguese app, which was downloaded by more than 1,000 people in the middle of the week.
Players were advised to use slaves to get rich or work to prevent the abolition of slavery to accumulate money. The application’s user instructions explained that the game was “designed for entertainment purposes only” and that its creators “condemn any type of slavery.”
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After removing the game from its Playstore platform, Google said in a statement that “applications that promote violence or hatred against groups of people or individuals because of their skin color or ethnic origin” were prohibited. The company also invited netizens to report any illegal content.
The Ministry of Racial Equality said in a statement that it requested to Google “effective measures to filter content that incites hatebigotry and racism” and “to prevent them from spreading so easily without restraint.”
Racism is still very present in Brazil, the last American country to abolish slavery in 1888, and where more than 56% of the population is made up of Afro-descendants.
“Brazil is one of the countries with the most consumers on Google platforms, and there is this application that reminds us of the era of slavery, with bonuses for those who torture the most,” criticized Renata Souza, a regional representative in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is not only racism, but also fascism. Here in Brazil we have a neo-fascist movement that is not afraid to show itself. (…) due to the lack of regulation of social networks”, adds the black parliamentarian, quoted by Agence France-Presse.
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Google was already at the center of a controversy at the beginning of the month, when it openly criticized -with the appearance of “links” in its search engine- a bill that intends to regulate Internet content. The American giant ended up withdrawing these connections, but a judge of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) ordered the opening of an investigation for abusive campaign against this bill that must be voted soon in Congress.