Brazilian judge initiates investigation into Elon Musk following refusal to censor accounts

by | Apr 8, 2024

On Sunday, tensions between Elon Musk and Brazil reached a new high as a Supreme Court judge launched an investigation into the billionaire. This move came after Musk announced his intention to reactivate accounts on the social media platform X, which the judge had previously directed to be blocked.

As the owner of X and an advocate for free speech, Musk openly opposed the decision made by Justice Alexandre de Moraes to block specific accounts. Musk argued that the restrictions imposed on X, formerly known as Twitter, were unconstitutional and urged Moraes to step down from his position.

Musk, X, and Brazilian authorities have not revealed the specific social media accounts targeted for blocking. X initially reported the blocking order on Saturday, yet the timing of the order remains uncertain.

Justice Moraes is probing “digital militias” allegedly responsible for disseminating ‘fake news’ and hateful content during former President Jair Bolsonaro's tenure, alongside investigating an alleged coup attempt by Bolsonaro.

In a post on X Saturday evening, Musk accused Moraes of flagrantly and consistently disregarding the Brazilian constitution and its people.

“This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Musk stated.

The billionaire has vowed to pursue legal avenues to contest the order targeting X accounts whenever feasible. In response, Moraes took action on Sunday by including Musk in the ongoing investigation into social media fake news and initiating an inquiry into what he labeled as obstruction of justice.

Moraes stated in his decision: “X shall refrain from disobeying any court order already issued, including performing any profile reactivation that has been blocked by this Supreme Court.”

The judge stated that if X fails to adhere to the order to block specific accounts, the company will face a fine of 100,000 reais ($19,740) per day, as per a statement released to the media.

Source: Reuters

 

 

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