The social networking site Facebook has blocked profiles of a series of supporters of right-wing populist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro worldwide on orders from the Brazilian Supreme Court.
Facebook indicates that it will appeal against this decision.
The Brazilian court last month ruled that Facebook should block 12 profiles of Bolsonaro supporters. Twitter was also ordered to close sixteen accounts.
According to the court, the profiles are used to spread false information, including about Supreme Court judges. The targeted profiles belonged to people near the President.
Facebook accepted that order, but only blocked the profiles in Brazil. That measure could, therefore, easily be circumvented by adjusting the settings of the account.
That is why judge Alexandre de Moraes decided on Thursday that Facebook should close the profiles worldwide. The company was also fined. In addition, the judge threatened to hold Conrado Leister, the President of Facebook in Brazil, personally responsible.
“Faced with the threat of criminal liability to an employee, we have no choice but to stick to the decision and block profiles worldwide,” Facebook said in a statement on Saturday.
The social network site says it will appeal against the court decision. “The new court decision … threatens freedom of expression,” it sounds.