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Facebook places worldwide block on 12 Bolsonaro supporters amid fake news claims

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4 days ago Jami Ganz

Facebook said Saturday that it’s placed a worldwide block on 12 accounts that support Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro amid allegations of running a fake news network, The Associated Press reported.

Despite complying with the order, which came from Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes Friday night, the social media giant dubbed the mandate “extreme.”

In a statement, Facebook explained it had obeyed de Moraes’ order because of a threat of criminal liability for an employee located in Brazil.

The company plans to appeal the order — which it considers a “threat to freedom of expression outside of Brazil’s jurisdiction” — to a full court.

The order, Facebook added, is “conflicting with laws and jurisdictions worldwide.”

Jair Bolsonaro wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Facebook said Saturday that it placed a worldwide block on the accounts of 12 supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, following orders from a Brazilian judge Friday. © Eraldo Peres Facebook said Saturday that it placed a worldwide block on the accounts of 12 supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, following orders from a Brazilian judge Friday.

Facebook said Saturday that it placed a worldwide block on the accounts of 12 supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, following orders from a Brazilian judge Friday. (Eraldo Peres/)

The Brazilian judge said the company should fork over $367,000 in penalties for not obeying an earlier order to shut down the accounts over the past eight days.

He noted they had still been online and capable of publishing if they registered their locations outside of the South American nation.

Facebook denied the claim, noting it had obeyed the previous directive by “restricting the ability for the target Pages and Profiles to be seen from IP locations in Brazil.”

Such IPs couldn’t see the pages and profiles, Facebook said, “even if the targets had changed their IP location.”

Facebook wasn’t the only tech behemoth taken to task by de Moraes, who’s overseeing a probe into whether some presidential allies are orchestrating a social media network that spreads threats and misinformation relating to Supreme Court justices.

De Moraes also ruled the accounts should be blocked by Twitter, which was not a fan of the determination it deemed “disproportionated [sic]” under the country’s rules about freedom of speech.

Despite the platform saying it would appeal the ruling, the profiles have been disabled.

Last week, Bolsonaro filed a lawsuit to unblock the accounts.

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