Brazilian judge says messaging platform popular with President Jair Bolsonaro has failed to comply with judicial orders.A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has ordered the shutdown of popular messaging application Telegram in the country, effectively banning one of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro‘s favourite communication channels ahead of elections later this year.
In a decision published on Friday, Judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered the app blocked immediately across the South American nation, citing Telegram’s failure to comply with orders from Brazilian authorities and remove messages found to contain disinformation.
The decision comes as Bolsonaro gears up to seek re-election in October, counting on Telegram to rally his base amid slumping public support and criticism over his government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The president has more than 1 million followers on the platform.
“Telegram’s disrespect for Brazilian law and repeated failure to comply with countless court decisions … is completely incompatible with the rule of law,” Moraes wrote in his decision.