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Elon Musk To Be Probed: Brazil Supreme Court Judge Draws The Line

The standoff is getting worse. On one side is billionaire Elon Musk, now the world’s fourth richest person. On the other is Alexandre de Moraes, a judge at Brazil’s supreme court. At the heart of the conflict is restrictions over so-called free speech.

The judge has now opened a probe against Musk, who owns the social media platform X, after the latter said he would reactivate social media accounts that the judge had blocked. Besides opening a probe against Musk, the judge issued a stern warning, do not disobey the court order and reactivate any social account blocked by the court. Non-compliance will result in a fine of nearly $20,000 dollars per day, the judge said.

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So far it has not been made public by the court or by Musk which social media accounts have been ordered blocked. Moraes is investigating ‘digital militias’, a term used to describe people accused of spreading fake news and hate messages during the earlier government led by far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. The former president is also under probe for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government last year after what he called a stolen election.

During Bolsonaro’s presidency, Musk’s satellite communication service Starlink was allowed in the country. In 2022, when the two met, Bolsonaro is said to have favoured Musk’s takeover of what was then Twitter. But times have changed and so has Brazil’s government, from right to left. President Lula da Silva’s government has now thrown its weight behind the judge. The country’s top law officer Attorney General Jorge Messias said: The country’s communications minister was more scathing: The big question is who will blink first.