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Breaking Silence – Musk’s X Corp. Lifts Restrictions in Brazil

Elon Musk (Credits: AP News)

Elon Musk, the owner of X Corp., announced on the platform Saturday evening that the company had removed all restrictions on Brazilian accounts affected by an order from the nation’s Supreme Court.

“We are lifting all restrictions. This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to 𝕏 in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Mr. Musk stated, informing of X’s decision.

The announcement was prompted by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, who published a report titled “TWITTER FILES BRAZIL.”

Elon Musk, X Owner (Credits: Britannica)

In his report, Mr. Shellenberger refers to records disclosed by X, formerly Twitter, during Mr. Musk’s 2022 takeover, allegedly revealing that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

Mr. Shellenberger said, sharing his findings on X, that Brazil’s highest court named sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists among those targeted for censorship.

He identified lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as subjects of orders aimed at posts deemed misinformation by the court.

According to internal files shared by Mr. Shellenberger, Twitter in Brazil was fined $30,000 and had one hour to remove the Congress members’ posts or face penalties for noncompliance.

The article details instances where the justice purportedly imprisoned individuals without trial based on social media posts.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly demanded access to Twitter’s internal data, breaching the company’s data handling policies. He also purportedly instructed Twitter to deplatform individuals responsible for specific posts without offering users the right to appeal or view evidence against them.

Elon Musk (Credits: The New York Times)

Brazil’s “Twitter Files” also indicates that the justice aimed to exploit Twitter’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president @jairbolsonaro, mirroring trends in the United States targeting former President Donald Trump and conservative voices.

Mr. Musk, who considers himself a free speech absolutist, commented on Brazil’s Twitter Files, released to Mr. Shellenberger, stating, “This aggressive censorship appears to violate the law & will of the people of Brazil.”

Journalist Paulo Figueiredo, censored by the court order, expressed gratitude to Mr. Musk, stating, “You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.”

Mr. Musk, emphasizing his commitment to free speech, posted an image to X featuring an X emblem composed of “FREE SPEECH” shortly after informing Brazil’s Supreme Court that his company would not comply with its order.

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