Twitter and Facebook suspended the accounts Friday of 16 allies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after a Supreme Court judge ordered them blocked as part of a probe into an alleged disinformation campaign .
Tension has been soaring between the far- right leader and the court, which is investigating allegations that members of his inner circle ran a social media campaign to discredit the court, as well as slander and threaten its judges .
The two US social media giants are also facing increasing pressure to act more aggressively against hate speech and false information on their platforms .
Justice Alexandre de Moraes said in his court order — which enforced an earlier May ruling — the accounts must be blocked to stop “the ongoing dissemination of fake news , slanderous accusations , threats and crimes” against the court.
The affected accounts include high – profile figures such as conservative former lawmaker Roberto Jefferson, business magnate Luciano Hang and far- right activist Sara Winter .
Visitors to their Facebook and Twitter pages in Brazil , though not other countries , saw messages indicating they were blocked .
“ This content isn ’ t available right now , ” read their Facebook pages .
A Twitter notice explained : “ Account withheld in Brazil in response to a legal demand ” .
A linked message said the company “ was compelled to withhold the original Tweet in response to a valid legal demand , such as a court order . ”
The owners of the blocked accounts reacted furiously .
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Winter called the court order worthy of a “ dictatorship , ” while Jefferson drew a comparison to Nazi Germany.
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