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A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Sunday initiated a probe into a possible obstruction of justice by billionaire Elon Musk – the latest episode in a dispute over misinformation between the South American country and the tech magnate, CNBC reported.

Musk, who owns social media platform X (formerly Twitter), said over the weekend he would disobey a previous ruling set to restrict some popular accounts. In response, Justice Alexandre de Moraes included him in an inquiry into alleged misinformation campaigns he termed “digital militias” that target Brazil’s democratic institutions online.

Musk remained defiant. “We are lifting all restrictions,” the billionaire wrote to an audience of nearly 200 million followers on Saturday, adding that Brazil’s court orders would make his company “lose all revenue” and close its premises in the country.

X’s chief technology officer later escalated tensions, calling for Moraes’ resignation or impeachment and calling him a traitor to the Brazilian nation.

The judge champions measures tackling misinformation and harmful content online, for which he has faced criticism from tech companies and politicians such as far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro.

Before losing a presidential election to left-wing Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro welcomed Musk in May 2022 and said Musk’s plans to buy Twitter, which materialized in October that year, symbolized a “breath of hope.”

After his supporters stormed government buildings in Brasilia on Jan. 8, 2023, Bolsonaro was accused of organizing a coup. He is now subject to an investigation.

The Brazil court said it will fine Musk $20,000 daily for each account X fails to restrict. The accounts are linked to individuals accused of promoting criminal activity against the country’s democratic institutions.

The platform faces challenges from other governments, too. Australia fined it for failing to comply with online safety regulations, and the European Union is investigating it in light of a new set of laws on harmful Internet content called the Digital Services Act.

Though Musk calls himself a free-speech absolutist, X recently bowed to pressure from the Indian government and removed accounts and posts amid farmers’ protests.

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