While there are many scandals surrounding Tesla CEO Elon Musk, at least he knows that he has a friend in Brazil’s deforesterin-chief. This right-wing demagogue, who, like Musk has a hard time taking any kind of public criticism and has used his office power to ensure his conspiracies don’t get deplatformed.
According to reports, Musk’s visit down south was meant to discuss internet connectivity in the country and concerns about rapid deforestation. Scientists are concerned that the Brazilian Amazon could experience a 15-year-high under the three-year Brazilian President. This has raised concerns about a total ecological meltdown.
Bolsonaro was reportedly applauded by the tech billionaire for his Twitter position, despite making unconvincing offers to preserve the Amazon. According to the Brazilian president, his plan to take over Twitter was ” a breathe of hope,” and that he does not agree with Twitter account perma bans and would like to open the platform to everyone and anyone to post whatever they wish. Musk has a list of extremely vague ideas about what tweets should be subject to moderation. This could include anything that is illegal or otherwise just destructive to this world, or simply wrong or bad.
Bolsonaro is a violent and extreme-right figure who has defended his country’s 20-year-old military dictatorship that ended almost 40 years ago. He claims that companies such as Twitter are “left-wing” that are suppressing people like him. Bolsonaro has used these platforms to attack Brazil’s electoral system in much the same manner as former President Donald Trump for the 2020 election. Bolsonaro advised his supporters not to use social media after Trump was banned.
Musk seems to be seeking praise wherever he can. After Insider reported Thursday that Musk is currently in scandal over a SpaceX flight attendant who was allegedly sex harassed by Musk and was then paid $250,000 to silence.
In a new FX documentary by the New York Times, Musk is also being accused of sexual harassment. It examines the response to accidents involving Tesla’s autopilot feature. Reports claim that Musk pressured legislators to stop investigating those crashes.
Bolsonaro is known for his tweet stance and it’s not surprising that he’s laying out the red carpet to the richest man in the world. Bloomberg reported that Musk, five months away from a tight election in October, is now a celebrity among Bolsonaro’s right-wing base. Musk, himself, declared himself for the Republicans in an tweet Thursday afternoon. Despite the recent documentary, Musk prefers to talk about his lingering plans to self-driving cars. It’s clear that Musk has promised fully autonomous vehicles for a long time, so this is not revealing.