Facebook responded to the Order of the Brazilian Supreme Court on Saturday to block profiles of 12 supporters of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. The accounts would maintain a ‘network of fake news’.
On Friday, the Brazilian Supreme Court fined Facebook some $330,000 for failing to comply with the order. The court previously ruled that a number of accounts of supporters of Bolsonaro should be blocked.
The accounts came from, among others, businessmen and activists. Through the accounts, they ‘spread fake news’. There’s an ongoing investigation into the owners of the profiles.
Last Thursday, Judge Alexandre de Moraes found that Facebook and Twitter had not followed the order to block the accounts. The accounts were only blocked within Brazil. With foreign IP addresses, the accounts were still accessible.
A Facebook spokesman calls the order “extreme”. The company also believes that freedom of expression is threatened in this way. However, Facebook blocked the accounts, as the social medium says it does not see an alternative.
Facebook will appeal. Bolsonaro announced earlier this week that his government is taking legal action against the decision.