Online desinformation and elections in Brazil

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2020
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This study investigates the circulation of content that incites the public to believe in the existence of ballot fraud and election manipulation in Brazil on Facebook and Youtube between 2014 and 2020. The analysis is based on a corpus of 103,542 posts with links in Portuguese on both platforms. Our goal is to provide a documentation on the history of narratives that feed disinformation processes regarding the electoral system in Brazil. In general terms, the research has shown that this discursive production follows the trend of peaks of circulation of URLs in election years, but persists during non-election years thanks to a verified potential of engagement. Given the harmful effects of the publication of fraudulent statements, among which we highlight questioning the legitimacy of processes that are fundamental to the health of democracy, this document focuses on digital engineering and electoral mistrust. In this context, this study is part of contemporary discussion both inside and outside Brazil, which has mobilized multiple actors aligned with the maintenance of mechanisms that sustain democratic regimes, beliefs and institutions.


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