Brazil court gives Telegram Sunday deadline to comply with order

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Two men pose with smartphones in front of a screen showing the Telegram logo in this picture illustration taken in Zenica
FILE PHOTO: Two men pose with smartphones in front of a screen showing the Telegram logo in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

March 20, 2022

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Messaging app Telegram must fully comply by Sunday with Brazil Supreme Court orders to block accounts that allegedly spread misinformation if it is to continue operating in the country, Justice Alexandre de Moraes ruled.

Telegram could not be reached for comment.

Telegram had partially complied by freezing accounts belonging to Allan dos Santos, an activist linked to far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. On Saturday the judge gave Telegram 24 hours to fully comply, a day after suspending it for non-compliance with decisions to block accounts linked to dos Santos for producing and spreading misinformation.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov apologized to the Supreme Court on Friday for the company’s “negligence,” blaming miscommunication and asking the court to delay its ruling as it sought to improve compliance.

Bolsonaro and his supporters have increasingly relied upon Telegram for mass communication as larger tech companies like Meta, which owns messaging app WhatsApp; Alphabet Inc’s Google; and Twitter Inc have adhered to Supreme Court orders to drop accounts that have allegedly spread disinformation.

(Reporting by Brasilia newsroom; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Richard Chang)





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