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Brazil’s Chief Censor Faces Growing Criticism From Even Congress and Lula Government

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Alexandre De Moraes may have overplayed his hand while drafting and executing Brazil’s policies aimed at controlling speech on social platforms active in the country.

According to reports out of Brazil, this is now making even those allies he effectively helped get elected – such as the sitting president’s environment – nervous.

Moraes, president of the Superior Electoral Court and Supreme Federal Court justice, seemed fairly confident when he decided to escalate a public clash with X owner Elon Musk over court orders to ban a large number of accounts, including those of high profile figures.

Moraes chose not to address the issue at hand – why X was supposed to comply to censor these people without being given any explanation, and while under a gag order, unable to reveal where the orders came from (it was from Moraes).

Instead, he went for launching an investigation into Musk and X under “digital militias” law.

But all this has achieved, it seems, is bring an unprecedented amount of attention to Moraes and his role in spearheading online censorship in Brazil, which has been ongoing for some years.

Influential Brazilian “newspaper of record” Folha de São Paulo now writes that Moraes is increasingly criticized not only by the opposition, but also members of the government of President Lula and Congress members normally aligned with both.

Apparently, in addition to the executive and legislative branches of power, Moraes’ decisions are on an increasingly shaky ground even within “his own” Supreme Court.

For now, these are just opinions expressed “behind the scenes” and in “private conversations, but the very fact that the newspaper – described by some observers “as the New York Times of Brazil” – decided to look into the matter of the power, role and support that Moraes enjoys, could be indicative of which way the wind is blowing.

The criticism seems to boil down to various officials either wanting some of the inflammatory and controversial measures to be outright revoked, while others are in favor of, essentially, damage control – taking some (real or perceived) steps back, to calm current tensions.

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