Brazil’s Supreme Court Orders Elon Musk Probe Over Fake News

( – Elon Musk took over Twitter, now X, in 2022. Since then, the company has lost 72% of its value. Now, the CEO is feuding with a Brazilian Supreme Court justice.

On Sunday, April 7, Justice Alexandre de Moraes included Musk in an ongoing investigation regarding the dissemination of fake news. He also opened a separate investigation into the Tesla founder for obstruction. According to The Associated Press, de Moraes accused Musk of waging a “disinformation campaign” about the country’s top court.

The CEO began attacking the Supreme Court the day before over orders requiring the company to block certain accounts that were reportedly spreading threats against justices and defamatory fake news. Musk called on de Moraes to “resign or be impeached” in a statement on X. He also stated that he didn’t believe the order was constitutional and vowed to appeal it.

De Moraes said Musk is being investigated for obstruction, criminal organization, and incitement. He’s also being investigated for the alleged intentional criminal instrumentalization of X in a probe about a network of so-called digital militias.

Musk told Brazilians on X that they could bypass a ban on the platform by using virtual private networks (VPNs). The justice called the CEO’s remarks a “flagrant conduct of obstruction […] incitement of crime […] disrespect the sovereignty of Brazil.”

The court didn’t release a list of the accounts it wanted banned. However, Wired reported Estadão, a São Paolo–based newspaper, claimed the list includes far-right fugitive Allan dos Santos, a supporter of former President Jair Bolsonaro. Bruno Aiub, a right-wing YouTuber known as Monark, who has argued the country should recognize the Nazi Party is also allegedly on the list.

Brazil has been investigating fake news and disinformation for months because of an attempted insurrection on January 8, 2023, when Bolsonaro supporters stormed the legislature. They claimed the election was stolen and tried to keep the former president in power.

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