Brazil judge gives X five days to explain alleged non-compliance with court ruling

By Thomson Reuters Apr 22, 2024 | 5:15 PM

By Ricardo Brito

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A Brazilian Supreme Court justice has given social media platform X until Friday to explain why it allegedly did not fully comply with earlier rulings ordering the Elon Musk-owned company to block certain accounts.

The decision is part of an inquiry opened earlier this month by Justice Alexandre de Moraes into Musk, after the billionaire said he would reactivate accounts on X that the judge had ordered blocked.

X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Moraes, whose decisions regarding X Musk called “unconstitutional,” set the five-day deadline in a public decision on Saturday, though the count began on Monday.

A report by Brazil’s federal police seen by Reuters on Friday showed accounts on X that local courts had ordered blocked were still active on the platform by early April, contradicting a previous statement by the company.

These accounts were still able to get new local followers and to publicize links for live streaming videos, according to the report.

“Representatives for social network ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) are requested to comment on the non-compliances highlighted in the report presented by the police,” Moraes wrote in the decision.

Moraes is investigating “digital militias” that have been accused of spreading fake news and hate messages during the government of former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and is also leading an investigation into an alleged coup attempt by Bolsonaro.

Previously, lawyers representing X said the platform had blocked 226 accounts since 2022 after orders from the court or Brazil’s top electoral court, adding the accounts were still blocked and not allowed to live stream videos.

The lawyers have also said X would comply with every ruling issued by both courts.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia; writing by Andre Romani; Editing by Bill Berkrot)