Washington Post Portrays Twitter-Hating Brazilian Judge as Disinformation Hero

April 21st, 2024 4:00 PM

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes is enraged that X (which will forever still be known as Twitter) allows the free flow of information because he labels some of it "disinformation" which he cannot tolerate. Therefore de Moraes has demanded that Twitter remove a number of accounts.

In the old obedient days of Twitter when the management treated "disinformation" (which is mostly information contrary to liberal views) to be one of the great sins of our world, they would have immediately acceded to the request. However  the new owner, Elon Musk, refused to take down the accounts which should make him a free speech hero. But in Friday's paper,  but to the Washington Post found the real hero in this matter is the authoritarian Brazilian Supreme Court Justice.

The Washington Post's no longer surprising support of censorship appeared on Thursday in "Having remade Twitter, Elon Musk takes his speech fight global" by the team of Elizabeth Dwoskin, Terrence McCoy and Marina Dias.

On one side, there’s Alexandre de Moraes, one of the world’s most aggressive prosecutors of disinformation. In recent years, as right-wing Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters questioned the integrity of Brazil’s elections, Moraes was granted expanded powers to fight false claims online. As head of the country’s top elections court, he has issued arrest warrants against dozens of figures and demanded that social media companies take down scores of accounts.

Then there’s Musk, the combative tech billionaire who, since taking over Twitter, has loosened the platform’s restrictions on hateful content and allowed misinformation to flood the platform in the name of free speech. Their opposing worldviews exploded into public view this month, when Musk announced he would no longer countenance judicial orders from Moraes, who he said was breaking Brazilian law, and threatened to shutter the platform, now called X, in one of its most active markets.

Moraes, in response, said he was adding Musk as a target in his ongoing criminal investigation into political groups accused of using false information to attack democracy.

So guess who the Post castigates in this dispute?

Since declaring his independence from Moraes’s orders, Musk has met with Argentine President Javier Milei at a Tesla factory in Texas, been invited to a live online appearance with Bolsonaro and said he will meet soon with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All are populists bolstered by online armies that have been accused of spreading disinformation.

...Musk’s politics form “a connective tissue between these far-right figures and movements,” said Emerson Brooking, a disinformation researcher with the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council. “He is globalizing America’s culture wars.”

The Post failed to note that the leftwing Atlantic Council is a think tank funded by George Soros which hyped the idea for the Biden Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board. Ironic since by their rules, the failure to mention this could be considered... disinformation. See how that works?

In stark contrast with their scary-music notes on Musk, the Post tone towards the censorship enforcing Brazilian justice is quite benign.

Musk remains a target of Moraes’s investigation, according to a Supreme Court official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under rules set by the court. That probe goes beyond X’s content moderation policies into whether Musk is part of an organized threat to the country’s democracy.

...For more than a year leading up to the 2022 election, a polarizing choice between Bolsonaro and leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Bolsonaristas pushed doubts about electronic voting systems in a strategy that mirrored Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations in 2020.

Before the vote, Moraes sought an expanded interpretation of the election court’s authority to investigate, censor and prosecute people suspected of undermining public institutions. The Supreme Court granted him the power to order the immediate removal of problematic content — and fine or suspend companies that did not comply.

Finally we have a member of the Soros-funded Atlantic Council whining about what he perceives as America, due largely to Musk, backing off a bit from censorship.

The country, said Brooking of the Atlantic Council, could become an important cause for right-wing groups worldwide, including in the United States in an election year in which tech companies have largely retreated from policing misinformation.