Social media accounts of Brazil’s Bolsonaro aides removed following court order

Brasilia [Brazil], July 25 (ANI): Facebook and Twitter took down the accounts of several high-profile supporters and aides of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following a Supreme Court order, CGTN News reported.

July 25, 2020

World

3 min

zeenews

Brasilia [Brazil], July 25 (ANI): Facebook and Twitter took down the accounts of several high-profile supporters and aides of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following a Supreme Court order, CGTN News reported.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the removal of 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts on Friday (local time), a decision tied to an ongoing probe into the alleged dissemination of disinformation by supporters of the right-wing Bolsonaro. The accounts were used to target journalists and political opponents of the president, and also reportedly posted about “domestic politics and elections.”
Among the purposes of the “fake news” investigation, as it is known in Brazil, is to discover if misinformation and threats against Supreme Court officials are being funded illicitly.
Among the owners of the suspended accounts is Roberto Jefferson, a former congressman and president of the conservative PTB party, as well as businessmen Luciano Hang, Edgar Corona and Oscar Fakhoury, and activist Sara Giromini, widely known as Sarah Winter.
Moraes had ordered the accounts to be blocked in a previous ruling in May, though the accounts were not removed at then.
In Friday’s order, Moraes said, it was meant to stop the accounts from “being used as a means of committing possible criminal conduct.”
Facebook said in a statement that it “respects the judiciary and complies with valid legal orders.”
Twitter, in a statement, also said, “Twitter acted strictly to comply with a legal order related to a Supreme Court investigation.”
The blocked Twitter accounts themselves, on the pages where their accounts would be, said Friday evening they were suspended “in response to a legal order.”
Despite his controversial handling of the country’s raging coronavirus crisis and a raft of his potentially law-breaking behaviors, three polls released this week show gains for Bolsonaro, putting him as favorite to win re-election in 2022.
The far-right leader, who is himself currently infected with the virus, has downplayed the pandemic even as it has exploded in Brazil, the country with the most infections and deaths from COVID-19 anywhere in the world except the United States. He has also been accused of meddling with the federal police to shield his family. So far, 48 impeachment requests have been filed against Bolsonaro in the lower house.
But this week’s polls suggest the man dubbed the “Tropical Trump” is weathering the crisis relatively well.
The latest, published on July 24 by news magazine Veja, puts the far-right leader comfortably ahead in the first round of the presidential election, with 27.5 to 30.7 per cent of the vote, depending on his opponents.
Bolsonaro is a fierce critic of those measures, arguing the economic pain is worse than the virus itself. (ANI)

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