The Blue Elephant owner is suing Google and Facebook for a social media attack

Analysis: As Brazil cracks down on fake news, Bolsonaro’s new move is straight out of Trump’s playbook

Márcio Thomaz Bastos, the owner of one of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular restaurants, has long railed against what he sees as the negative influence of the internet on Brazilian society.

His restaurant, The Blue Elephant, has long been a meeting point for critics of the powerful social media giants that he accuses of “sucking us dry”.

After one of its patrons shared a screenshot of Bastos’ letter with him on social media, the Brazilian, who has become a prominent figure for his often confrontational stance and his refusal to back down from online criticism, decided to take action in a novel way, launching a legal battle last week to force the likes of Google and Facebook to remove his page from their search engine results.

Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “concerned” by the fact that it had not received “a formal communication” from Bastos, who also said on his Facebook profile that he had filed a complaint. Bastos told the Guardian he had in fact filed a statement in an attempt to have his page removed.

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