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X Will Comply with Brazilian Censorship Demands After Initially Opposing a Court Order


After taking a stand against Brazilian authorities over requests to censor X (formerly Twitter) users, Elon Musk and X Corp. have now agreed to comply with the demands, in the face of growing fines, and a potential ban of the app in the region.

Earlier this month, X announced that the Brazilian authorities had issued a court order to the platform “to block certain popular accounts in Brazil”. X claimed that it was not given adequate reason for the action, but that it would be required to comply, in order to align with local laws.

Shortly after the official announcement, however, X owner Elon Musk was challenged by his followers in the app to defy the ruling in the name of free speech. Which then led to Musk ordering that all blocks be removed, putting him on a collision course with Brazilian officials that could risk the platform’s access to the region.

Musk has since sought to highlight what he views as illegal requests from Brazil’s Minister of the Supreme Federal Court Alexandre de Moraes, and has sought to make the incident an example of his willingness to fight for free speech, whatever the cost.

Though, seemingly, that cost got a little too high to maintain in this instance.

Facing daily fines of $20,000 (now up to $200,000), and with X’s local employees potentially set to face legal enforcement, X has now quietly agreed to comply with the requests.

As reported by Reuters:

Lawyers representing Elon Musk’s X told Brazil’s Supreme Court that the social media platform will comply with every ruling issued by the court or Brazil’s top electoral court.”

Some have suggested that this may be a temporary agreement, in order to ensure that X’s local employees are safe, which could see X resume its opposition to the ruling again shortly. But right now at least, X is going to tow the line, and meet the requirements of local authorities, despite its stated opposition to such.

Which, despite the optics, is in line with X’s general approach.

Elon Musk has made many public statements about enabling free and open speech in the app, though with the qualifier that X will always operate in alignment with local laws, as opposed to going beyond what’s dictated by the ruling government. In this instance, Musk claims that the Brazilian Government requests actually do go further than the local law, which is why X has opted to take a stand. But with the U.S. House of Representatives looking to assess the situation, and X, as noted, facing significant fines, it seems that a prolonged battle may be too much for X to take on, at least at this stage.

Though that could change quickly. Elon himself opted to take a stand to oppose the ruling, and he could do so again.

And yet, it remains unclear why he’s decided that this request is a step too far, yet similar demands from governments in India and Germany were both acceptable, and X complied with them.

Either way, at present, X’s battle with Brazilian authorities is on hold, while X assesses its next steps.

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