Musk backs down, vows to abide by Brazilian court orders on X account blocking

The tycoon had stated that he would lift all the restrictions imposed by the judge, even if it meant having to close the Brazilian office's operations.

Elon Musk's social media platform, X, changed its position and chose not to challenge the decision of the Brazilian judicial system that demanded the blocking of accounts close to former president Jair Bolsonaro. The platform's legal representatives assured that they would comply with all orders issued by the court or Brazil's highest electoral court.

The social network's lawyers sent a letter to the Supreme Court judge, Alexandre de Moraes, informing that X would abide by all court injunctions.

This change of position comes after Musk expressed his intention to revoke all restrictions imposed by the judge, arguing that they are unconstitutional and requesting Moraes's resignation.

At the time, Musk stated, "We are lifting all restrictions (...) 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."

In response to Musk's statement, Moraes launched an investigation against the tycoon for "obstruction of justice, membership of a criminal organization and incitement to crime," and he was warned that he would face a fine of 100,000 reais (approximately $20,000) per day for each profile reset.

Brazil's Twitter files

Journalist Michael Shellenberger sparked controversy on April 3 by posting a thread on Twitter titled Brazil's Twitter Files. In it, Shellenberger denounced a "broad repression of freedom of expression" driven by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

According to Shellenberger, Moraes has imprisoned people without trial for their social media publications, demanded the expulsion of users from such platforms, and ordered the censorship of specific publications without granting users any right of appeal or access to the evidence against them. The journalist claims all this was done to favor former president Lula da Silva and his party.

The situation gained more relevance when both X and Shellenberger denounced new demands from the Brazilian Justice to censor more accounts.

"We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or for what reasons. We are prohibited from saying which accounts are affected. We are threatened with daily fines if we do not comply," X said in an official statement.

For his part, Shellenberger lamented that Brazil is "on the brink" and directly accused President Lula of participating in a drive towards totalitarianism.