Fake News Crisis Brewing between The Supreme Court and The Public Ministry

Dispute occurred one day after the Supreme Court censored news sites


A request by Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli to delete fake news, offense and threats against ministers has led to a face-off between the Attorney-General of the Republic and the Supreme Court.

The attorney-general, Raquel Dodge, attempted to throw the request out, but Alexandre de Moraes, president of the inquiry, said that she can not legally dismiss it and that it should proceed. 

The Attorney-General of the Republic, Raquel Dodge.(Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

The debate happened in the middle of a Federal Police operation ordered by Moraes to apprehend computers and cell phones that are suspected of publishing criminal information against Supreme Court judges. 

Just the day before, Moraes had ordered two magazine sites, Crusoé and O Antagonista, to take down articles in which former Odebrecht CEO Marcel Odebrecht referred to Toffoli in a 2007 email. At the time, Toffoli was a lawyer in the Lula government (PT).  

Toffoli opened an investigation into fake news in March but excluded it from the Public Ministry, generating criticism from his court colleagues. 

On Monday (15), the Order of Lawyers in Brazil condemned the censorship episode and president Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) defended freedom of expression as a "legitimate and inviolable right.”

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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