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Facebook and Twitter take down the accounts of high-profile Bolsonaro supporters

Saturday, July 25th 2020 - 08:40 UTC
Full article 98 comments
Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the removal of 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts on Friday July 24 Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the removal of 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts on Friday July 24

Facebook and Twitter took down the accounts of several high-profile supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following a Supreme Court order, a move that underlines the tricky territory the social media titans are navigating in some of the world's largest jurisdictions.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the removal of 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts on Friday July 24, a decision tied to an ongoing probe into the alleged dissemination of disinformation by supporters of the right-wing Bolsonaro.

Among the purposes of the “fake news” investigation, as it is known in Brazil, is to discover if misinformation and threats against Supreme Court officials are being funded illicitly.

Among the owners of the suspended accounts is Roberto Jefferson, a former congressman and president of the conservative PTB party, as well as businessmen Luciano Hang, Edgar Corona and Oscar Fakhoury, and activist Sara Giromini, widely known as Sarah Winter.

Moraes had ordered the accounts blocked in a separate ruling in May, though the accounts were not removed at the time. Friday's order, Moraes said, was meant to stop the accounts from “being used as a means of committing possible criminal conduct.”

Facebook said in a statement that it “respects the judiciary and complies with valid legal orders.”

Twitter in a statement said, “Twitter acted strictly to comply with a legal order related to a Supreme Court investigation.”

The blocked Twitter accounts themselves, on the pages where their accounts would be, said Friday evening they were suspended “in response to a legal order.” The reaction among Brazil's conservatives was swift.

The PTB party said in a statement that it was surprised by “yet another arbitrary measure” ordered by Moraes, which ”impedes the exercise (of Jefferson's) right to liberty of expression and opinion on social media.“

Winter, the activist, said she would complain to ”international human rights organizations about the serious offense against free speech.”

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • Chicureo

    Despite what Gollum thinks, Trump will be reelected on November 3rd and Bolsonaro in 2022. Here's a certain stress reducer remedy I highly recommend:

    ¡Saludos de Chile!

    Jul 25th, 2020 - 08:17 pm 0
  • Chicureo


    My American friends tell me the polls are worthless. Trump will easily win the US electoral college vote. (The North East and West coasts are completely against Trump, but the key swing states are solidly Republican.)

    Regarding our useless little creature... You completely broke him!

    ¡Muchos Saludos!

    Jul 26th, 2020 - 05:49 pm 0
  • Jack Bauer


    “I see your little friend has surfaced again, perhaps with a better attitude this time? We shall see.”

    I admire your optimism.....but when it comes down to certain people, you should never get your hopes up....never underestimate their capacity to disappoint has been made clear, yet once again.

    Today I watched a video sent to me by a friend....something that was said, reminded me of someone...“the main characteristic of a silly person, is to think they are smart, always correct” .....

    Jul 26th, 2020 - 09:01 pm 0
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