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House Committee Report Unveils Recent Brazil Social Media Censorship Demands As Recently as April 2024

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Even as the scandal around the Brazilian authorities’ policy of issuing censorship orders to X was in full swing, they continued to send letters to US-based platforms demanding more censorship.

This is revealed in new documents published by the US House Judiciary Committee and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, a part of a broader interim report titled, “The Attack on Free Speech Abroad and the Biden Administration’s Silence: The Case Of Brazil.”

“Part 2” of this report states that as recently as in April, X, but also Rumble, received a total of ten orders (nine of which went to the latter platform) to censor accounts. Both companies refused to comply.

The freshly targeted accounts belong to one of the country’s top podcasters, Monark (“Brazil’s Joe Rogan”), but also prominent opposition figures, parliamentarians, political commentators, radio stations, and even a gospel singer.

What they all have in common is questioning the integrity of Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, and/or supporting the incumbent who lost the contested ballot, Jair Bolsonaro.

Meanwhile, the latest known batch of censorship letters was justified by linking Bolsonaro supporters and election integrity skeptics with the events of January 8, 2023 – the “Brazilian version” of January 6 in the US – and accusing them of “spreading disinformation.”

In addition to demanding that the accounts be suspended within two hours, the platforms were threatened with daily fines equivalent to some $19,700. The censorship demands were very thorough: the accounts were to be blocked, preserved, and demonetized, with payments to them stopped.

X and Rumble were also supposed to provide Brazilian authorities with data pertaining to registration, and payouts.

In announcing the release of the newly obtained documents, the House Select Subcommittee pointed out the role of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court President and Supreme Federal Court justice Alexandre de Moraes.

But, the Subcommittee – set up to investigate government-Big Tech collusion and what it calls government-directed censorship at home, made sure to note that the phenomenon is not confined to Brazil and other countries.

“Like Brazil, the Biden Administration has attacked journalists, political opponents, and Americans across the political spectrum in an attempt to silence the Administration’s many critics,” a press release said.

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