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Social network profiles cannot be blocked without the right of defense

The 18th Civil Court of Porto Alegre has granted a preliminary injunction ordering Facebook to reestablish the account of a sports reporter on Instagram, under penalty of a daily fine of R$ 500.00 (five hundred reais), limited to 30 days1.

The lawsuit was filed by reporter Carlos Henrique Lacerda, known as reporter Lacerda, after his profile on Instagram was blocked, due to a complaint made by Sport Clube Internacional, alleging that the plaintiff was selling counterfeit products, infringing Internacional´s intellectual property rights. It is worth mentioning that at no time was  offered to the user the right of defense and despite an administrative appeal and Internacional request for the account maintenance, Facebook kept the block.

In the decision, Judge Tatiana Elizabeth Michel Scalabrin Di Lorenzo pointed out that “the defendant blocked the account without giving the plaintiff any right of defense, which is manifestly illegal and unconstitutional”, as well as the fact that the plaintiff has several sponsors and followers on the social network, which is why maintaining the block of the account may result in financial losses. The decision is not final.

 1Lawsuit No. 5045620-87.2020.8.21.0001