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  • Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro.

    Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro. | Photo: EFE

Published 1 August 2020
Opinion

Until this saturday, the accounts were only blocked within Brazil but were accesible with foreign IP addresses. 

The U.S. social network Facebook Saturday announced  it has blocked the accounts of Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's 12 supporters who were implicated in a fake news inquiry. 

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Facebook's decision came after the U.S. company was fined on Friday by Brazil's Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes.

The judge ordered the company to pay US$367,000 in fines for not fully complying with a ruling that ordered the accounts to be deleted. 

Until this saturday, Judge Alexandre de Moraes ruled on Thursday that Facebook and Twitter failed to comply with the court’s orders since the accounts were only blocked within Brazil but were accesible with foreign IP addresses. 

Although the company agreed to the order, a spokesperson said the decision threatens “freedom of expression outside of Brazil’s jurisdiction”. 

“Given the threat of criminal liability to a local employee, at this point we see no other alternative than complying with the decision by blocking the accounts globally, while we appeal to the Supreme Court,” said the spokesperson.

Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court is overseeing an investigation into members of Bolsonaro’s inner-circle that allegedly held a social media campaign to discredit the court and threaten its judges. 

Last week, president Jair Bolsonaro filed a lawsuit demanding the accounts to be unblocked. 

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