Elon Musk refuses to comply with X ban orders by Brazil’s Supreme Court

X ban orders by Brazil’s Supreme Court.

A dispute between Elon Musk and Brazil erupted on Sunday (April 7) when Brazilian Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes opened an investigation into the entrepreneur after Musk said he would restore the accounts he had on social media site X. Those who were disabled by the judge.

Musk, the owner of X and a free-speech absolutist, has protested Justice Alexandre de Moraes’ decision to block specific accounts. He has said that X, formerly known as Twitter, will end all restrictions because they are unconstitutional, and has called for Moraes’ resignation.

Neither Musk, X nor Brazilian officials have disclosed whose social media accounts were ordered to be censored. X initially mentioned the order blocking these accounts on Saturday, although it was not immediately clear when it was issued.

Musk accused Moraes of “shamelessly and repeatedly” undermining Brazil’s constitution and people in an X post on Saturday (April 6) evening.

“This judge has imposed huge fines, threatened to arrest our employees, and shut down access to X in Brazil. As a result, we would potentially lose all revenue in Brazil and would be forced to close our office there. But principles matter more than profits,” Elon Musk said in a post.

The billionaire has committed to filing a legal appeal against the order banning X accounts. Moraes responded on Sunday by including Musk in his own investigation into fake news on social media, as well as opening an investigation into what he called obstruction of justice.

In response, Moraes said, “X should refrain from disobeying any court orders previously issued, including reactivating any profiles blocked by this Supreme Court.”

Judge Moraes said in a statement to the media that if.

The leftist government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva supported Moraes, with Solicitor General Jorge Messias criticizing Musk and advocating for social media regulation to prevent international platforms from breaking Brazilian laws.

Meanwhile, American author and journalist Michael Shellenberger, commenting on the issue, said that ‘Brazil is on the verge of dictatorship at the hands of an authoritarian Supreme Court judge named Alexandre de Moraes.’

“President Lula da Silva is participating in the push toward authoritarianism. Since taking office, Lula has massively increased government funding for mainstream news media, much of it encouraging increased censorship. What Lula and de Moraes are doing is a gross violation of the Brazilian Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. At this time, Brazil does not yet have a dictatorship. There are still elections and Brazilians have other means to combat authoritarianism. But the federal Supreme Court and the Superior Electoral Court interfere directly in those elections through censorship,” he said.

Michael Shellenberger also said that a few days earlier he had published Twitter files for Brazil in which he found that Moraes had violated the Brazilian Constitution.

“Morace illegally demanded that Twitter disclose private information about Twitter users who used hashtags he deemed inappropriate. He demanded access to Twitter’s internal data, violating the platform’s policy. They censored posts on Twitter by lawmakers of the Brazilian Congress, on their own initiative and without respecting due process. And Moraes tried to turn Twitter’s content moderation policies into a weapon against supporters of then-President Jair Bolsonaro,” Shellenberger said.

“The Twitter files also revealed that Google, Facebook, Uber, WhatsApp and Instagram defrauded the Brazilian people. “If such evidence is proven, executives of these companies behaved like cowards: They provided personal registration data and telephone numbers to the Brazilian government without a court order and, therefore, violated the law,” Shellenberger said. .

twitter files brazil

Brazil is carrying out a massive crackdown on free expression, overseen by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes. De Moraes has jailed people without trial for posts on social media. He has also called for locking out users from social media platforms. Moraes has ordered individual posts to be removed without providing users with an appeals process or even the ability to view the information provided against them.

Now, Twitter files made public for the first time show that de Moraes and the Superior Electoral Court, which he oversees, attempted to undermine Brazilian democracy. According to Shellenberger, Moraes illegally demanded that Twitter disclose personal information about Twitter users who used hashtags he disliked. Moraes and the court wanted access to Twitter’s internal data, which violated Twitter policy. He attempted to impose a unilateral ban on Twitter posts through current members of Brazil’s Congress. They also aimed to use Twitter’s content restriction measures against supporters of then-President Jair Bolsonaro.

In 2023, the Moraes-led TSE deemed the former president ineligible to compete for government for spreading misleading information about Brazil’s electoral system.

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