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The fight between a Brazilian judge and Elon Musk over disinformation on X

Since the start of last weekend, Elon Musk has been making stinging responses against his new adversary, Alexandre de Moraes, a judge of the Brazilian Supreme Court.

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The fight between a Brazilian judge and Elon Musk over disinformation on X

Since the start of last weekend, Elon Musk has been making stinging responses against his new adversary, Alexandre de Moraes, a judge of the Brazilian Supreme Court. These now daily attacks take place on

Alexandre de Moraes incurred the wrath of the boss of Tesla and Space 2023. This order mainly targeted supporters of the far-right former Brazilian president. In his many responses, Elon Musk described the move as “censorship” and insinuated that he would challenge it, saying he would “lift all restrictions.” He also called for the “resignation or removal” of the judge.

If the latter did not react on X, he declared on Sunday that he would order fines of 20,000 dollars per day for each reactivated account. The magistrate also called for the opening of an investigation into the alleged “criminal exploitation” of the platform. In response, Elon Musk attacked the judge again on Monday, asking for a debate, then joked, in reference to a known meme: "Tell me Alexander, is the misinformation in the room with us NOW ? » He then added: “The law applies to everyone, including Alexander. He should be tried for his crimes.” Following this episode, the word “Impeachment”, used to talk about dismissal, was on Monday on X among the “trending topics”, i.e. the most popular subjects on the application.

Elon Musk is known for his eccentricity, and his escapades have often amused, like last year, when he requested an MMA fight, a combat sport mixing different martial arts, against Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Meta. The Tesla boss also praises the benefits of taking ketamine, which according to him would help fight against his “negative state of mind”. But the controversies of the man who often presents himself as the defender of freedom of expression on the Internet seem to deal a blow to his companies. Since its acquisition of Twitter, the value of the platform has suffered a spectacular fall. The social network experienced a 71% devaluation in one year, or $12.5 billion.

The billionaire openly expresses his political opinions. Previously a Democrat, Elon Musk has revealed that he will vote for Trump in the presidential election this year. “I think we need a red wave [color associated with Republicans] or America is screwed,” he wrote at the end of March. Before these attacks against Alexandre de Moraes, the owner of X had already ventured into Brazilian political terrain, as shown in a video posted Saturday by Jair Bolsonaro of a meeting with him. In the process, the former president called on his supporters to gather in Rio de Janeiro on April 21. Some ultraconservative figures in Brazil defended Elon Musk in a manifesto and like him called for the dismissal of the magistrate.

Alexandre de Moraes is now well known to the Brazilian population. Long considered a man of the hard right by the left, who called him a “fascist” and a “liar”, he became the bête noire of Jair Bolsonaro. Coming from the elite of São Paulo, the magistrate with the shaved head followed a real honorum course in the country's institutions. He studied at the University of São Paulo, one of the best in South America, then was appointed deputy for state public security in 2015 before becoming Minister of Justice. He currently works in several high authorities, such as the Supreme Court and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) which he chairs. This court declared Jair Bolsonaro ineligible in June 2023 for disseminating false information about the Brazilian electoral system.

Since the controversy began, several senior Brazilian officials have spoken out to defend the judge. “We cannot live in a society where billionaires who live abroad control social media and are willing to violate the rule of law, disobeying judicial orders and threatening our authorities,” wrote on X Jorge Messias, General Advocate of the Union, responsible for defending the interests of the Lula government. Secretary of Social Communication Paulo Pimenta declared: “Brazil is not the jungle of impunity and our sovereignty will not be subordinated to the power of Internet platforms or the economic model of big technologies. »

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