The 2022 Brazilian elections worked as a battlefield for the new type of war against democracy: the use of coordinated, highly-funded and state-supported networks of misinformation to win and then subvert the result of an election. Former president Jair Bolsonaro adopted many strategies from Donald Trump’s playbook to erode faith in the electoral system, the electronic ballots, and the electoral court.
Foreseeing such a strategy, many journalists have spent the last few years developing different tools and infrastructure to monitor key politicians, social media influencers and WhatstApp and Telegram groups to report on main influencers and mediators, robot or inauthentic accounts, and to determine specific misinformation waves. On top of that, they have done shoeleather reporting, going to conservative Congresses, speaking to sources and reviewing documents to establish the international connections of a network that supports right-wing populist movements to erode trust in democracy and instigate violent attacks such as the ones in Brazil in 2023 and in the US in 2021. This panel brings together three investigative journalism organizations that worked on the intersection between disinformation and politics in Brazil, the US, and Europe.
Organised in association with Agência Pública.