Analysis: As Brazil cracks down on fake news, Bolsonaro’s new move is straight out of Trump’s playbook
By: Aaron Maté | Published: Oct 04, 2018
A screenshot of the fake news campaign against Brazilian media
When Brazilians woke up this morning to an explosion of fake news stories on Brazilian websites, they were not able to look elsewhere for information about the president’s visit.
It was a very different story in the United States, where President Donald Trump had visited the World War II Memorial in Washington DC on Friday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Japanese atomic bombings that killed more than 200,000 Americans and killed tens of thousands more across Japan.
In just two days, fake news stories flooded Twitter and Facebook, but Trump’s visit did nothing to quash the tide in Brazil. In fact, the fake news tsunami seemed to be increasing the president’s popularity as well as his popularity with the Brazilian public.
“We don’t have a problem with fake news. We’ve been doing that. The thing is fake news is a problem when the president is a victim of it,” said the president who is also the leader of Brazil’s biggest political party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement or MDB.
That seems to be a very different reality for Bolsonaro, the president who just replaced Donald Trump at the G20 Summit in Japan.
In his new role as chief executive of the world’s biggest nation, which is also one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world, Bolsonaro, 59, has been able to use the internet to spread more lies and misinformation about Brazil than the president who is also the head of the Brazilian people.
On Thursday alone, Bolsonaro used the hashtag #PorContraTrump on Twitter to spread lies about Brazil’s history, population, GDP and crime, before going on to spread information about his visit to Japan on Friday.
On Friday, he posted a picture of himself holding a sword with the caption: “As president of Brazil I am