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X challenges Brazil's 'forced' order to block certain accounts

FILE PHOTO: X' logo is seen on the top of the headquarters of the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., July 30, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/

(Reuters) - X Corp, formerly Twitter, has been "forced by court decisions" to block certain popular accounts in Brazil and is prohibited from giving details of the order, the company said on Saturday.

X owner Elon Musk said in a post on the platform, that this order could lead to a total loss of revenue and shut down of the offices in Brazil, promising that he would legally challenge it where possible.

The social medial company said it is unaware why the blocking orders have been issued and is barred from giving details of the impacted accounts, adding that it is threatened with daily fines if it fails to comply.

"This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil," Musk said when referring to a user's post on Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes' "free speech crackdown."

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Last year, Moraes also ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging platform Telegram and Alphabet's Google, who were in charge of a campaign criticizing a proposed internet regulation bill.

The bill put the onus on internet companies, search engines and social messaging services to find and report illegal material, instead of leaving it to the courts, and charge hefty fines for failures to do so.

(Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Sandra Maler)