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Social media misinformation and Brazil’s runoff election

Perhaps more than in any other presidential campaign in Brazilian history, religion has taken center stage in the 2022 race. Especially on social media.

After the nail-biting results of the first round of Brazil’s presidential election, the campaign for the runoff stage started off pretty weirdly. Besides the classic race for endorsements to get that extra push for the win, candidates have engaged in a holy war of sorts.

On social media, Lula was associated with an alleged satanist who predicted the center-left politician would clinch a first-round win. The Workers’ Party even felt it needed to publish a statement saying “Lula believes in God and is a Christian” and that “Lula has no pact nor has ever spoken with the devil.”

The left, meanwhile, has linked Jair Bolsonaro to “satanic rituals” and tried to portray the president as someone willing to engage in cannibalism.

This week we discuss how low social media strategies have fallen — and what this means for the future.

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This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: HLV454OEALKQ0QVC, BXIZ5WCET6LYTNUH, 1TWICQFMTI6J39T.


Watch our special 2022 live broadcast. The Brazilian Report team hosted special guests on Election Day for a five-hour broadcast. Guests: Mario Sergio Lima (Medley Advisors), Mauricio Savarese (The Associated Press), Natalie Unterstell (Talanoa Institute).

Background reading:

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