October 18, 2018 / 1:29 PM / 10 months ago

Brazil president candidate Haddad accuses rival of spreading false news

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian presidential hopeful Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers Party accused his right-wing rival Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday of creating a criminal group along with businessmen to spread false election-related messages on WhatsApp.

The spread of false information on social media has become widespread in the lead-up to Brazil's Oct. 28 presidential runoff, which Bolsonaro is expected to win. Haddad's comments in a radio interview came after newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Thursday that business people were buying data packages of up to 12 million reais ($3.26 million) to spread false messages on WhatsApp in violation of Brazilian law. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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