Facebook followed the Brazilian Supreme Court’s order on Saturday to block profiles of 12 supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The accounts are said to maintain a network of fake news.
The Brazilian Supreme Court fined Facebook on 312,000 euros on Friday for failing to comply with the order. The court previously ruled that a number of accounts of Bolsonaro supporters should be blocked.
The accounts belonged to business people and activists, among others. They distributed fake news via the accounts. An investigation is ongoing into the owners of the profiles.
Last Thursday, judge Alexandre de Moraes noted that Facebook and Twitter had not followed the order to block the accounts. The accounts were only blocked within Brazil. The accounts were still accessible with foreign IP addresses.
A Facebook spokesman called the order “extreme”. According to the company, freedom of expression is also threatened in this way. Still, Facebook blocked the accounts, because the social medium says it sees no alternative.
Facebook will still appeal. Bolsonaro announced earlier this week that his government is taking legal action against the decision.