Will Brazil Ban Twitter? Country Investigates Elon Musk for Defying Censorship

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(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Brazilian Federal Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into Twitter owner Elon Musk spreading disinformation, obstructing justice, and defying the judge’s orders to ban accounts from his platform, now known as X.

The news of Moraes’s investigation came Sunday, days after U.S. journalist Michael Shellenberger reported on the Brazilian version of the “Twitter Files”—revealing internal records about how the Brazilian government ordered Twitter to censor controversial content.

According to Shellenberger, Moraes illegally demanded that Twitter reveal personal details about Twitter users who used hashtags he did not like; demanded access to Twitter’s internal data, in violation of Twitter policy; sought to censor, unilaterally, Twitter posts by sitting members of Brazil’s Congress; and used the platform’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president Jair Bolsonaro.

Unlike the conduct described in the U.S. Twitter Files, much of Brazil’s actions against Twitter may be legal. That’s because Brazil’s electoral court voted in late 2022 to give Moraes unilateral power to order tech companies to remove many online posts and videos. Social networks reportedly must comply with those demands within two hours or face the potential suspension of their services in Brazil—which is what appears to be transpiring now with Twitter.

However, Musk is signalling that he won’t comply with the draconian law. Instead, the billionaire is calling for Moraes’s resignation.

“Coming shortly, 𝕏 will publish everything demanded by [Moraes] and how those requests violate Brazilian law,” Musk said Sunday. “This judge has brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil. He should resign or be impeached.”

Musk also reportedly warned that “we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there.”

According to Fox Business, Twitter can be fined the equivalent of $19,740 a day for violating Moraes’s social-media takedown orders.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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