Elon Musk warns his employees of a possible arrest in Brazil over freedom of speech

elon musk in trouble in brazil
Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), has voiced apprehension regarding the safety of X employees in Brazil amidst an investigation into alleged dissemination of disinformation. Musk’s warning of a potential “full data dump” came in response to a Brazilian judge’s directive for X to block specific accounts as part of the ongoing probe.

“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” Musk wrote in an X post. He went on to write another tweet claiming that his employees have been informed of their potential arrest.

Musk was responding to a tweet by Nikolas Ferreira de Oliviera, a Brazilian politician affiliated to the Liberal Party. Nikolas Ferreira had posted, “Elon said that Alexandre has Lula on a leash and that he put his finger on the scale to elect him. As a member of the Brazilian congress and representing millions of people, I ask you to give us more information. This will be crucial for the future of our country.”

With due consideration, the development comes after Brazilian Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes ruled to include Elon Musk in an ongoing investigation over the dissemination of fake news and has opened a separate investigation into the U.S. business executive for alleged obstruction.

How it started?

It all started in March 2023, when Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered social media platforms to block several accounts for spreading fake news and inciting violence. This ignited friction between Elon Musk and the Brazilian judge as the former denied to comply with the orders and criticized the court’s action leading to an investigation of his conduct.

“This judge has brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil. He should resign or be impeached. Shame @Alexandre, shame,” Musk had posted on X. Furthermore, Musk also accused Moraes of betraying the Brazilian constitution. He also warned Moraes to resign from the office or get impeached.

In response to this, Moraes, on April 7, warned to impose a fine of $20,000 each if X reactivates any blocked accounts and ordered an investigation of Musk, accusing him of “criminal instrumentalization” of the platform.

The spat continued as Musk fired back by challenging Moraes for an open debate and mockingly offering to be the justice’s psychoanalyst.

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