Brazil

Articles about voting issues in the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Brazil: WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy | Salon

Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian newspaper Folha. Days before the Oct. 28 runoff between Bolsonaro and his leftist competitor, leftist Fernando Haddad, an investigation by Folha revealed that a conservative. Read More

Brazil: Government reiterates e-voting security | ZDNet

Brazilian authorities reiterated that the electronic voting machines used in the country’s elections are completely fraud-proof prior to the run-off, which took place on yesterday (29). In a public service announcement run on national television and radio on Saturday night, the minister at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) Justice Rosa Weber highlighted the security of the electronic polling machines in use in Brazil and the danger of fake news dissemination. To ensure a smooth election involving nearly 148 million citizens in Brazil, where voting is compulsory, Weber said the electoral justice took “various measures to prevent and correct any possible failures.” Read More

Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro declared Brazil’s next president | The Guardian

A far-right, pro-gun, pro-torture populist has been elected as Brazil’s next president after a drama-filled and deeply divisive election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy. Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.1% of the votes after 99.9% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday. Bolsonaro’s leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, secured 44.8% of votes. In a video broadcast from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro thanked God and vowed to stamp out corruption in the country. “We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he said. Read More

Brazil: Newspaper asks for probe of threats to election reporter | Associated Press

Brazil’s biggest newspaper said Wednesday that it has asked federal police to investigate threats against a journalist whose story alleged backers of the front-running presidential candidate bankrolled a fake news campaign. The request comes amid an increasingly heated atmosphere ahead of Sunday’s runoff between far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who leads in opinion polls, and his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad. The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo last week ran a report by Patricia Campos Mello saying businessmen linked to right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro had paid to spread fake news on the WhatsApp messaging service to benefit his candidacy. It said a blast message campaign also was planned for this week. Bolsonaro denied the report. Haddad called on Brazil’s electoral court to investigate. Read More

Brazil: Authorities admit fake news struggle | ZDNet

Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has conceded that it is struggling to deal with the overwhelming wave of fake news created and disseminated around the country’s presidential elections. In a press conference that took place yesterday (22) following the emergence of a WhatsApp mass messaging scandal involving leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro , TSE minister Justice Rosa Weber said there was no failure regarding Brazil’s electoral justice around dealing with disinformation, but later admitted there is a problem. “We all know fake news is a worldwide phenomenon, which calls for reflection. We would like to have an immediate and effective solution, but we don’t,” Weber told journalists. “Whoever has the solution to fight disinformation, please show it to us. We haven’t discovered a miracle,” she added. Read More

Brazil: Disinformation Spreads on WhatsApp Ahead of Brazilian Election | The New York Times

Over the past few months, the 120 million Brazilians who use WhatsApp, the smartphone messaging application that is owned by Facebook, have been deluged with political messages. The missives, spread through the country by the millions, have targeted voters ahead of Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election. A final runoff between a far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, and Fernando Haddad, the leftist Workers’ Party candidate, will be on Oct. 28. One popular WhatsApp message displayed the name of a presidential candidate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, next to the number 17. When Brazilians vote, they punch in a number for a candidate or party in an electronic voting machine. The misleading message was just one of millions of photos containing disinformation believed to have reached Brazilians in recent months. A study of 100,000 WhatsApp images that were widely shared in Brazil found that more than half contained misleading or flatly false information. Read More

Brazil: ‘Flowering of hate’: bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil | The Guardian

The two contenders in Brazil’s bitterly-contested presidential race have urged calm after a wave of attacks on journalists, activists and members of the LGBT community by supporters of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro including beatings, a knife attack and a murder. Supporters of the former paratrooper – himself the victim of a botched assassination attempt last month – have also reportedly been targeted with violence. But an investigation by independent journalism group Agência Publica found that an overwhelming majority of the violence was committed by supporters of Bolsonaro, who polls give a 16-point lead over his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad, ahead of the second round runoff on 28 October. Read More

Brazil: Brazil battles fake news ‘tsunami’ amid polarized presidential election | The Guardian

As Brazil nears the climax of its most bitter and polarized election in recent history, academics and digital activists fighting to stem a rising tide of fake news say that accurate coverage of the campaign risks being drowned out by the sheer volume of lies being spread on Facebook and WhatsApp. On Monday, Brazil’s electoral court ordered Facebook to remove links to 33 fake news stories targeting Manuela D’Ávila, a communist party politician and the vice-presidential candidate for Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT). D’Ávila party hailed the decision as a victory, but one digital media expert said it was a mere drop in the ocean. “This is nothing. It’s irrelevant amid the lies and attacks in this election,” said Pablo Ortellado, a professor of public policy at the University of São Paulo who leads a project monitoring public debate on social media. “There is very little correct information.” Read More

Brazil: Bolsonaro questions Brazil’s voting machines—especially if he loses | Quartz

Brazil’s electronic ballot boxes are internationally admired:  The country welcomes foreign delegations that travel here to study them, and sends experts to other nations to teach them about the technology. But as the country goes to vote today (Oct. 7) in a deeply polarized election, conspiracy theories spread by frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, a radical right-wing populist, are casting doubts on their infallibility. The attack on the machines threatens to call into question the integrity of Brazil’s entire electoral process. The machines are mandatory in 460,000 voting stations across Brazil’s five regions, and have become iconic in Brazil since they were first used in 1996. Their instantly recognizable sound indicating a vote has been cast is used in political ads. They’re touted on TV on election day, with segments showing the challenges electoral workers face to transport the boxes containing them—be it by truck in São Paulo, by bus in Rio, or by boat in the Amazon. The country even lends the machines to fellow Latin American nations for tests (in countries like Argentina, Haiti, Equador, and Mexico) or for actual elections (like in the tiny neighboring nation of Paraguay). Read More

Brazil: Only the grandest of coalitions can now defeat Bolsonaro | The Guardian

Brazilian leftists heaved a huge collective sigh of relief on Sunday night after Jair Bolsonaro – the homophobic, dictatorship-praising far-right front-runner – fell just short of a stunning first-round victory that would have made him president of one of the world’s largest and most diverse democracies. Their relief may well be short-lived. Fernando Haddad, Bolsonaro’s opponent in the pivotal second-round vote on 28 October, has a mountain almost as high as Brazil’s Pico da Neblina to climb if he is to scupper the right-wing populist’s dramatic political ascent. Bolsonaro secured more than 49m votes on Sunday – 46% of the total and just shy of the majority he needed for an outright win – while his Workers’ party (PT) opponent won just 29%, or 31m votes. Read More