Since taking command of the twitter, Elon Musk has been carrying out drastic changes in the company. One of the next ones could involve Brazil. In response to Bolsonaro users who accuse the social network of acting with censorship in the country, the businessman promised to examine the situation.
Matters began to develop when Musk posted a message about his commitment to free speech. Then the journalist Fernanda Salles responds to the tweet: “in less than 48 hours, at least four congressmen and conservative influencers were banned from Twitter by illegal orders from the electoral court”.
Other Twitter users joined Salles, among them, Josiano Padovaniwho claims to Elon Musk that the social network has been imposing “a draconian ideological censorship against Brazilians’ right to freedom of expression”.
When Musk asks what censorship he is referring to, the journalist Paulo Figueiredo appears in the discussion responding that Twitter imposes its own censorship and “more stringent than that of our flawed courts”.
Although without going into details, Musk replied: “I will analyze this”.
Accounts suspended by order of the TSE
In recent days, Twitter has suspended the accounts of several politicians and supporters of the Bolsonar government, as determined by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
In all cases, the TSE tries to avoid the dissemination of unfounded accusations against the electoral system or the incitement to undemocratic acts, such as the recent roadblocks that have caused disruption across the country.
Among the bans is the profile of economist Marcos Cintra (União Brasil), who was secretary of the Federal Revenue in the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL). In a sequence of tweets, Cintra cast doubt on the most recent election.
The economist said, for example, that Jair Bolsonaro had zero votes in hundreds of ballot boxes, and added: “if there is suspicion in a single ballot box, they fall on the entire system.”
THE Folha de S.Paulo, Cintra said he was surprised by the suspension of his Twitter account. “I didn’t make any accusations, I didn’t protest against anything, I just had doubts that any citizen can have and can do”, he added.
The fact is that Bolsonaro supporters have used social media and messaging services to spread accusations of fraud in the elections. None of them presented evidence of illegality in the lawsuit, however.
The Twitter accounts of parliamentarians Carla Zambelli (PL-SP), Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) and Gustavo Gayer (PL-GO) were also recently banned.
Layoffs and Loss of Advertisers on Twitter
Calls for Elon Musk to fight alleged censorship of Twitter in Brazil come on the heels of a series of controversial decisions. The most impressive is the dismissal of half of the company’s employees — about 3,700 people.
This situation contributed to companies such as GM and Pfizer suspending advertising on Twitter. But, for Elon Musk, the removal of advertisers has only one cause: the action of activist groups that pressure sponsors.