Coronavirus

Bolsonaro’s Twitter goes on trial

Bolsonaro's Twitter goes on trial

President Bolsonaro’s official Twitter account has become a matter for the courts. At least 20 prosecutors requested a state court open a civil suit to force the federal government to only share information that is in line with Health Ministry and World Health Organization guidelines — of which President Bolsonaro has been repeatedly critical.

Prosecutors want Mr. Bolsonaro to post a Twitter thread — and then pin it atop his profile — including science-based health recommendations. They use some of his previous tweets as examples of the president’s “irresponsibility.”

Social media has been the foundation upon which Jair Bolsonaro has built his political persona. He has used Twitter to make government announcements and even undermine members of his own cabinet — before booting them from his administration. Earlier this year, a report by Reporters Without Borders said the “digital militia” working for Mr. Bolsonaro is a leading menace to free speech and democracy — comparing it to propaganda tactics pulled by Russian President Vladimir Putin.