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Brazilian Supreme Court opens investigation against Elon Musk for "not obeying orders to block accounts" on Twitter

Elon Musk had already warned that he was going to challenge the legal decisions of Judge Alexandre de Moraes by “lifting all the restrictions” that were imposed on him

Corte Suprema de Brasil abre investigación contra Elon Musk por “no obedecer órdenes para bloquear cuentas” en Twitter
Corte Suprema de Brasil abre investigación contra Elon Musk por “no obedecer órdenes para bloquear cuentas” en Twitter | Shutterstock

April 8, 2024 12:46pm

Updated: April 9, 2024 8:31am

The Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF) ordered on Sunday to investigate tycoon Elon Musk, owner of the X social media platform.

The new government-sponsored investigations are probing the alleged crimes of “criminal and intentional manipulation” of the platform’s alleged spread of ‘fake news’ and ‘attacks on democracy’.


The Court’s decision, which was published on its portal, came after Musk accused De Moraes of imposing censorship in Brazil with sentences to block different profiles on the social network “for no reason.”

"This judge has brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil. He should resign or be impeached", said the head of Tesla and SpaceX, who also promised to soon publish "everything demanded by  Alexandre de Moraes' (judicial) requests and how those requests violate Brazilian law."

Musk had already warned on Saturday night that he was going to challenge the magistrate's legal decisions by “lifting all the restrictions” imposed on X without giving further details.

“We are lifting all restrictions. This judge handed out massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees, and cut off access to X in Brazil. We will probably lose all our revenue in Brazil and will have to close our offices there. But principles are more important than profits,” he insisted.

The case against Musk comes as a result of an investigation published in the Brazilian newspaper Gazeta do Povo, which was carried out by the American journalist Michael Shellenberger, in collaboration with journalists David Ágape and Eli Vieira.

It reveals how De Moraes and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) participated in a 'clear attempt to undermine democracy' in Brazil.

In his report, Shellenberger cites records published by X during the acquisition of the platform by Musk in 2022, which supposedly show that "Brazil is involved in a broad repression of freedom of expression led by a judge of the Supreme Court."

The American journalist asserts that among those targeted for alleged misinformation are Carla Zambelli from the Liberal Party of former President Jair Bolsonaro, and Marcel van Hattem from the NOVO party. 

According to the internal files shared by Shellenberger, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine if it did not censor the accounts of Zambelli and van Hattem within one hour.

The article also reports that the Brazilian Justice had been imprisoning people without trial for things published on social media.

Shellenberger mentioned that Judge Alexandre de Moraes illegally demanded that Twitter reveal personal data of users who used hashtags he did not like. Additionally, they requested access to Twitter's internal data, in violation of Twitter policy.

The magistrate has led the fight against disinformation in Brazil and, in recent years, has ordered the blocking of accounts of influential figures on social networks, most of them supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro, who was declared ineligible in June 2023 by the TSE, accused of having spread false information about the Brazilian electoral system.

Bolsonaro is also being investigated for an alleged “attempted coup” to avoid his defeat by the current leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in October 2022 after the invasion of a crowd of his supporters to the headquarters of the three powers, in Brasilia.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.