Why Musk is at war with a Brazilian judge – L’Express

Why Musk is at war with a Brazilian judge –

A fierce battle broke out between a Brazilian judge and the owner of the social network X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk this weekend. It all started on Saturday evening, when Elon Musk began a series of sharp attacks on his X account against Alexandre de Moraes, a Brazilian magistrate. The boss of Tesla, Space X and

A few hours later, Elon Musk went further, asserting that he wanted to challenge the legal decisions taken by this Brazilian magistrate by “lifting all the restrictions” that he ordered. “We will probably lose all our income in Brazil and have to close our offices there. But principles are more important than profit,” he insisted. Throughout the weekend, Musk did not stop the invectives against his “new adversary”. On Sunday, for example, he said that Judge Alexandre de Moraes should “resign or be dismissed” for having “brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and the people of Brazil.” And added: “Shame on you Alexander, shame on you.”

An open investigation

This is how on Sunday evening, Judge Alexandre de Moraes, of the Supreme Court of Brazil, ordered the opening of an investigation against Elon Musk. In a legal ruling consulted by Agence France Presse, the magistrate spoke of an alleged “criminal exploitation of X” on the part of the billionaire, who is also boss of Space X and Tesla.

READ ALSO: X: Elon Musk’s new about-face on user certification

It also enjoined “the social network 18,300 euros) per reactivated profile. “Social networks are not lawless lands!”, he insisted, in capital letters, in his legal ruling. Alexandre de Moraes himself in recent years ordered the blocking of accounts on X, some being suspected of spreading disinformation.

Through these invectives, Elon Musk nevertheless attracted the good favor of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro, pointing out attacks on freedom of expression. “I hope that something historic has started: the return of freedom to our country,” MP Nikolas Ferreira, close to the former president, declared on X.

A controversial judge

A divisive figure, tyrannical for some and fervent defender of democracy for others, Alexandre de Moraes is one of the eleven members of the Brazilian Supreme Court. He also chairs the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

Spearheading the fight against disinformation in Brazil, he ordered the blocking of accounts of influential figures on social networks, most of them being supporters of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro (2019 -2022). The latter was declared ineligible in June 2023 by the TSE chaired by Alexandre de Moraes, for having disseminated false information about the Brazilian electoral system. He is also targeted by an investigation for “attempted coup d’état” after his electoral defeat against left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in October 2022.

READ ALSO: Tesla: for Elon Musk, the conquest of Europe turns into a nightmare

Shortly after the Tesla boss’s first attacks against the judge on Saturday, Jorge Messias, the Attorney General of the Union, responsible for defending the interests of the Lula government, called for “urgently regulating social networks”. “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,” he said. -he added on X, without mentioning Elon Musk by name.