Parliamentarians criticize Moraes for monitoring politicians on the social network

Parliamentarians criticize Moraes for monitoring politicians on the social network


The release of another series of documents from the “Twitter Files”, this Wednesday (3), which points to an action by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, then president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), to monitor politicians on the social network criticism among opposition parliamentarians against the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

According to emails exchanged between the TSE and X’s legal team in Brazil and the United States, Moraes had requested information about users who published with hashtags specific information, in addition to requiring the platform to provide personal information without police investigation in a legal process.

Among the politicians who would have been targets of the minister are deputies Marcel van Hattem (Novo-RS) and Carla Zambelli (PL-SP). The gaucho reacted immediately after the announcement of the TSE’s action in post by journalist Michael Shellenberger.

For Van Hattem, it is “absurd what is being revealed […], it is a shame, an absurdity, in particular regarding me, what I had already revealed on other occasions is confirmed”. The deputy refers to a statement made in 2022, that he had been monitored by the TSE for a post critical of the Public Ministry of Labor, which ended up being censored.

For him, the court acted to “unbalance the dispute”. “Instead of participating in the game as a judge, he threw the game to one side in favor of some candidates and harming others. […] This is a political police thing”, he added.

The Novo party, to which Van Hatten is affiliated, stated that the deputy’s case “is emblematic of the modus operandi that the TSE has adopted in recent times”, and that, by acting directly with the platforms, the Court censors and restricts speeches “without the ‘inconveniences’ of due process”.

“The deputy’s profile is verified, so any illegality could be directed directly to him, within legal procedures. But this would make the work of the TSE more difficult, because they would be forced to say exactly which laws were being violated, and with the right to defense”, the party pointed out in a statement.

According to the caption, the “Twitter Files” are a sample of what the censorship bill wanted to introduce in Brazil and which was defeated in Congress. “The easiest – and least democratic – path remains: the TSE resolution, published on March 1st, which establishes that the platforms will be “jointly responsible” for the content published by users. With the legal risk, censorship must become the rule”, he added.

“The fight against disinformation is being used as a justification to silence those who are politically inconvenient. There is no democracy without freedom of expression”, states the party.

Deputies are cautious about the case

On the other hand, in a more restrained tone, Zambelli preferred not to comment and only republished a post about the case on her X profile, with a reproduction of an image of the document that mentions her and Van Hatten.

The more restrained tone was also followed by federal deputy Daniel Freitas (PL-SC), who also just distributed the post about the case and commented as “extremely serious”.

“This is the biggest scandal about the 2022 elections”, added deputy Gustavo Gayer (PL-GO).

Also without delving deeper into the case, federal deputy Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) simply recommended “mandatory reading” with the repost of the publication that published the “Twitter Files”.


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