Allies of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) are seeking to put on social media the idea that the Brazilian president exerted influence in the withdrawal of part of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, a move that mitigated the imminence of a confrontation in the region. Ministros e apoiadores do governo levantaram a hashtag “BolsonaroEvitouAGuerra”, que já alcançou os assuntos mais comentados do Twitter na manhã desta terça-feira, 14.
Even with part of the posts made in jest, they explore a publication by the president himself, who landed in the country this Tuesday. Earlier, when entering Russian airspace, Bolsonaro highlighted the news of the withdrawal of troops, even though he was advised by the Itamaraty not to touch on this subject during the trip, as shown by the Estadão.
Former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles shared a montage that simulates the president on the cover of the American magazine “Time”. The headline of the fake edition attributes Bolsonaro the “2022 Nobel Peace Prize” for his “fundamental role in the crisis between Russia and Ukraine”, in addition to describing the president as “the man who will be able to define the future of the planet”. In the post, Salles did not indicate that it is a montage. “Congratulations, president”, he limited himself to writing.
In another publication, the former minister improperly used the logo of a news channel to say that Bolsonaro “avoided the third world war”. In this post, the former titleholder of the Environment did not even write a caption.
Alvo de inquérito no TSE por disseminar desinformação, a influenciadora bolsonarista Bárbara Destefani foi ao Twitter dizer que Bolsonaro “ligou para (Vladimir) Putin do avião e disse para ele esquecer esse negócio de guerra”, atribuindo ao presidente brasileiro a responsabilidade pelo gesto de recuo .
Unlike Salles’ posts, Bárbara made the humorous tone of her publication more evident, although some followers have shown, in the comments, that they believed in the statement. Later, Destefani took to the networks to mock the fact that information vehicles seriously reported the movement of posts.
Researcher Michele Prado, author of the book “Tempestade Ideológica: alt-right and illiberal populism in Brazil”, believes that Bolsonaristas with influence in the networks take advantage of the situation to strengthen public mobilization around the president. She points out that the image of the president among his supporters is shrouded in “mythification and messianism”, elements that this type of publication tries to reinforce.
“They will try to use the trip to elevate Bolsonaro to a kind of savior, something that is recurrent”, says the writer. Michele classifies the posts as an attempt to enact what she calls a counter-narrative – a disposition of facts that is alien to reality. “Bolsonarismo has many alternative networks of influence. They use an important fact to forge the narratives that will most mobilize their audience, often in an extremist way”.
‘Delusion as a method’
Michele adds that this situation can result in the expansion of the Bolsonaristas’ “limit of acceptance of the absurd”, leading to the loss of individual critical sense. “It’s delusion as a method. When they receive these publications (on Telegram, WhatsApp and other social networks), they think it’s true. In the future, they will believe in something even more absurd and unrealistic”, says the researcher.
Minister Walter Braga Netto himself, who accompanies the Chief Executive on the trip, said this Tuesday that Ukraine is not on the agenda of the president’s meeting with the Russian Defense Minister. According to him, topics involving technology transfer will be discussed.
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