Brazil’s Supreme Court on Friday banned the fast-growing messaging app Telegram in the country over disinformation concerns.
The step is a drastic measure that showed the court plans to fight disinformation ahead of this year’s presidential elections.
Alexandre de Moraes, a Supreme Court judge, said Telegram is being blocked because the app had not sufficiently responded to previous orders to remove the accounts of a prominent supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro.
That particular supporter is being investigated for posting disinformation and threatening Supreme Court judges.
Mr. de Moraes ordered internet and cell-service providers to make the app unusable in the country and directed Apple and Google to eliminate the app from their mobile app stores. He gave the companies five days to comply with the decision.
One person reacted to the decision as: “Dictatorship not from the President but against President. Disgusting.”
Update: The ban was removed after 2 days. Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov said that the company missed the emails received from the court, requested a delay on the ban, and apologized for not action sooner with regards to misinformation.