Brazilian Supreme Court Judge Initiates Investigation into Musk

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has launched an inquiry into Elon Musk after the billionaire announced his intention to reactivate accounts on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, which the judge had ordered to be blocked.

Musk posted on the platform that the restrictions had been lifted due to the court order being deemed unconstitutional. He also demanded that Justice Alexandre de Moraes resign or face impeachment.

Should X fail to comply with the order, it will face a fine of 100,000 reais ($19,774; £15,670) per day.

In his ruling, Justice Moraes stated that Musk had initiated a disinformation campaign against the Supreme Court. The platform’s Global Government Affairs team stated that they were not authorized to disclose which accounts were affected.

However, Musk later announced that “X will publish everything demanded by [Moraes] and how those requests violate Brazilian law.”

The profiles in question are believed to be associated with far-right movements that posted content related to the riots on January 8th of the previous year when thousands of supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidential palace.

Justice Moraes gained attention for his decisions to restrict social media platforms in the country. He is also investigating Mr. Bolsonaro and his supporters for their alleged roles in an attempted coup d’état.

On Saturday, the former president posted a video of a meeting he had with Musk in May 2022. Hours earlier, Bolsonaro also called on his supporters to gather on April 21st.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Communication Minister Paulo Pimenta criticized Musk, emphasizing in capital letters that “social networks are not a lawless land.” He added, “We will not allow anyone, regardless of their wealth and power, to disrespect our country.”

Should X choose to defy the order, the platform could be temporarily blocked, according to Bruna Santos, the global campaigns manager at the non-profit organization Digital Action.

“Musk acted to provoke the Brazilian judiciary,” she said. “I believe there is a real possibility that X may be blocked.”