Fake news has become a plague across the world, and Brazil is no different. During the 2018 presidential election, all main candidates spread falsehoods about their opponents, relying on a vast network of websites of dubious quality to increase their reach. Brazil’s Justice system, however, did little about it. Worse is the fact that politicians use the threat of fake news as an excuse to censor news outlets that may publish something damaging to them. Congressmen tried to do that during the 2018 election. Now, it is the Supreme Court which is curbing freedom of the press in order to protect its members.
The country’s highest judicial body has censored a report published on April 13 by Crusoé, an online magazine, linking the current Supreme Court Chief Justice to the corrupt dealings of construction firm Odebrecht. The story, entitled “O amigo do amigo do meu pai” (“The friend of my father’s friend”), explains that Marcelo Odebrecht—owner of what was Latin America’s biggest construction group and convicted to 19 years for corruption, money laundering, and criminal association—wrote to Operation Car Wash investigators explaining the content of several emails he exchanged with his team.