Twitter and Facebook block accounts of Bolsonaro supporters after court ruling

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a national flag lowering ceremony at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, July 24, 2020.

Twitter and Facebook suspended, Friday, July 24, the accounts of sixteen supporters and allies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. A measure taken pursuant to a decision by a Brazilian Supreme Court judge in the context of an investigation into an alleged campaign of disinformation.

Tensions escalate between the far-right president and the Supreme Court, which is investigating allegations that several members of Jair Bolsonaro’s entourage are waging a social media campaign to discredit this judicial institution and threaten judges with it. .

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Judge Alexandre de Moraes justified his decision, which confirms a judgment handed down in May, by saying that the accounts of these users should be blocked in order to end “The spread of false news, defamatory accusations, threats and crimes” against the Court.

Among the suspended accounts are those of former Conservative MP Roberto Jefferson, business mogul Luciano Hang and far-right activist Sara Winter. The latter denounced a measure worthy of a “Dictatorship”. The blocking of their accounts will only apply to Internet users who attempt to access them from Brazil.

35 accounts already deleted in early July

In early July, Facebook had already announced the deletion for coordinated disinformation of dozens of accounts in several countries, in particular some linked to the Brazilian president, and which until recently published messages on the Covid-19 pandemic.

The action network “Inauthentic coordinated” in Brazil focused on a domestic audience and, “Even though the perpetrators tried to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links with people linked to the Social Liberal Party” the far-right Brazilian president, as well as with the entourage of Jair Bolsonaro himself and his sons Eduardo and Flavio, said Nathaniel Gleicher, in charge of Facebook’s security policy.

The American group had, therefore, deleted 35 Facebook accounts, 14 pages and one group, as well as 38 accounts on its subsidiary Instagram, having generated a total of 1,500 dollars (1,322 euros) in advertising revenue. Approximately 883,000 accounts followed one or more of these pages, 350 accounts had joined this group and approximately 917,000 people followed one or more of the Instagram profiles.

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The World with AFP


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