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Musk in the crosshairs of Brazilian justice

Photo: Sergei GAPON Agence France-Presse Elon Musk (above), owner of the platform .

Louis Genot – Agence France-Presse in Rio de Janeiro

April 7, 2024

  • Americas

A judge of the Supreme Court of Brazil on Sunday ordered the opening of an investigation against Elon Musk, owner of the platform demanded his resignation during repeated attacks on this social network since Saturday.

In a legal ruling consulted by AFP, magistrate Alexandre de Moraes spoke of an alleged “criminal exploitation of X” on the part of the billionaire, who is also boss of Space X and Tesla.

He also ordered “social network fine of 100,000 reais (approximately 26,900 Canadian dollars) per reactivated profile.

This judge himself has in recent years ordered the blocking of accounts on X, some being suspected of spreading disinformation.

“Social media is not a lawless land! », he insisted, in capital letters, in his legal ruling.

On Saturday evening, Mr. Musk began a series of attacks on ~

“We will probably lose all our revenue in Brazil and have to close our offices there. But principles are more important than profit,” he insisted.

On Sunday, he returned to the charge, saying that Judge Alexandre de Moraes should “resign or be removed” for having “brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and the people of Brazil”.

Bolsonaro’s black beast

A divisive figure, tyrannical for some and fervent defender of democracy for others, Alexandre de Moraes is one of the eleven members of the Brazilian Supreme Court. He also chairs the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

Spearheading the fight against disinformation in Brazil, he ordered the blocking of accounts of influential figures on social networks, most of them being supporters of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro (2019 -2022).

The latter was declared ineligible in June 2023 by the TSE chaired by Alexandre de Moraes, for having disseminated false information about the Brazilian electoral system. He is also being targeted by an investigation for “attempted coup d’état” after his electoral defeat by left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in October 2022.

Shortly after the first attacks by the Tesla boss against the judge on Saturday, Jorge Messias, the Attorney General of the Union, responsible for defending the interests of the Lula government, called for “urgent regulation social networks.”

“We cannot live in a society where billionaires who live abroad control social media and are willing to violate the rule of law, disobeying judicial orders and threatening our authorities,” he said. -he added on X, without mentioning Mr. Musk by name.

But many supporters of Jair Bolsonaro welcomed the billionaire's attitude. “I hope that something historic has started: the return of freedom to our country,” MP Nikolas Ferreira said on X.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116