Brazilian courts, which are often seen as the primary stronghold of political opposition to the Jair Bolsonaro regime, have taken to ordering social media platforms Facebook and Twitter to ban and censor right-wing accounts that support Bolsonaro.
Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the tech giants to remove 28 accounts of Bolsonaro supporters across both platforms, citing “fake news” and unspecified threats against Supreme Court officials.
Though Facebook and Twitter have been notoriously slow to cooperate with United States officials in investigations into private data leaks and political censorship, the tech giants have not yet refused to carry out any of the bans ordered by Brazilian courts.
Twitter praised itself for having “reacted strictly to comply with a legal order related to a Supreme Court investigation,” and Facebook praised itself for its “respects the judiciary and complies with valid legal orders.”
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This week, journalists Bernardo P. Kuster and Allan dos Santos were on the receiving end of a Twitter feature that “withholds” accounts from being seen by users in certain regions. While the restrictions were originally enforced in Brazil, the restrictions on Kuster now appear to be worldwide, as searches for his account turn up the message “@bernardopkuster’s account has been withheld in: United States.”
Other journalists, politicians, and commentators who have expressed supportive opinions about Jair Bolsonaro were simply removed wholesale from the platform, including Sarah Winter, Roberto Jefferson, Luciano Hang, Oscar Fakoury, Luciano Hang, and Edgar Corona.
— Poland Daily (@PolandDaily) July 31, 2020
Big Tech has take increasingly aggressive steps against the Bolsonaro administration in recent months. In May, Jair’s son Renan was suddenly banned from streaming service Twitch for what the platform described as “hateful conduct.”