Justice Regina Helena da Costa, of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ), favored Justice Damares Alves in a monocratic decision that allows the minister to maintain the blocking of an account on her Twitter and Instagram profile. The STJ magistrate claims that the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights has channels to pass on public decisions — Damares’ profiles on the networks are private accounts and of an “unofficial character”.
Damares blocked researcher who left Brazil
O Techblog analyzed the writ of mandamus was granted by the judge of the STJ on Wednesday, the date on which the decision was published. The request was filed by the lawyers of economist Débora Diniz Rodrigues; she was blocked by Damares on Instagram and Twitter.
Débora Diniz is a researcher at Brown University, located in the US. De acordo com o processo, ela teve de deixar o Brasil em 2018 por conta de ameaças constantes feitas contra si e sua família — no Twitter, a economista tem uma base de 182 mil seguidores e faz postagens críticas ao presidente Jair Bolsonaro e seus aliados.
Due to her exile, Débora joined the Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (PPDDH), coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, which defends researchers. The economist claims that Damares uses her Twitter and Instagram profiles to publicize policies related to the program.
The prosecution alleges that, due to the blockade, Damares is violating Diniz’s right to information, citizenship, freedom of expression and right of reply. Finally, lawyers asked to revoke the suspension of access to his profile on Twitter and Instagram.
STJ minister says accounts are not official
But STJ magistrate and rapporteur of the case, Regina Helena da Costa, understood that the accounts of Damares Alves on Twitter (@DamaresAlves) and on Instagram (@damaresalvesoficial1) have no official character or connotation — the minister’s profiles do not agree with ” act of public authority”.
The judge points out that, in fact, only the pages of the Ministry of Women, the Family and Human Rights on Twitter and Instagram have an official character; it is through them that the ministry headed by Damares discloses acts of the Public Power.
Debora Diniz sent a direct message to Damares’ Instagram on January 15, in which she demanded answers about babies who were at risk of dying from COVID-19, when Manaus (AM) reached a critical situation with oxygen shortage. She also criticized the minister in her performance in the episode in which a teenager and minor was raped by her uncle and became pregnant, in São Matheus (ES).
On the 27th, Diniz discovered that he had been blocked by Damares Alves not only on the photo app, but also on Twitter, when trying to access the minister’s profiles on both networks.
Bolsonaro foi proibido por STF de bloquear site no Twitter
No Brasil, os ministros do STF Marco Aurélio e Cármen Lúcia já se declararam favoráveis a que o presidente Jair Bolsonaro seja proibido de bloquear outros perfis no Twitter. He is the target of 4 such actions on the Supreme; in the most recent decision on the subject, minister Dias Toffoli asked Bolsonaro to unlock the site’s profile Congress in Focus.
Em janeiro, o Twitter ocultou um post de Bolsonaro e etiquetou a postagem como “enganosa”; in it, the president defended the treatment of COVID-19 through the use of chloroquine and ivermectin, which have no proven efficacy. In March, two more posts by Bolsonaro were deleted — this time the social network removed the content because it understood that it “put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19”.
Donald Trump, aliado de Bolsonaro e ex-presidente dos EUA, também costumava banir jornalistas de terem acesso a suas postagens no Twitter. But he himself was permanently banned from the platform in January after his supporters invaded the Capitol. The US Supreme Court in 2019 banned Trump from blocking profiles; judges said he was violating the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution by suspending other users.