Brazil’s High Court probes Elon Musk for social media disinformation

Brazil’s Highest Court Investigates Elon Musk for Alleged Disinformation Campaign on Social Media

Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly Twitter), faces scrutiny from Brazil’s highest court over accusations of conducting a public “disinformation campaign” on the platform. The investigation, initiated due to Musk’s defiance of court orders to restrict accounts spreading false information, raises concerns of possible obstruction of justice.

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has included Musk in an ongoing probe into the dissemination of fake news. Musk’s refusal to comply with court directives led to clashes with the judiciary, with X’s global government affairs team asserting that the orders violate Brazil’s internet laws and constitution.

Musk’s defiance escalated over the weekend, with calls for the judge’s resignation or impeachment and promises to publish demanded content while urging users to bypass restrictions with virtual private networks. However, this stance was met with accusations from Justice Alexandre de Moraes of fueling a “disinformation campaign” and obstructing justice.

In response to Musk’s actions, the court imposed fines on him and X for every reinstated account against its orders. Brazilian officials, including Communications Minister Paulo Pimenta, emphasized that Brazil’s sovereignty will not yield to internet platforms or big tech business models.

Amidst the controversy, Musk’s interactions with former President Jair Bolsonaro have come under scrutiny. Their meeting in Brazil regarding SpaceX’s Starlink service usage in rural schools in the Amazon region raises questions, particularly as Bolsonaro openly supported Musk amid the current legal battle. The broader context includes ongoing investigations into alleged attempts to undermine democracy following the 2022 election.