The Listening Post

Brazil’s elections: Is social media overtaking the mainstream?

Is social media driving the campaign of far-right frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro? Plus, online abuse of female journalists.

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On The Listening Post this week: As Brazilians go to the polls, social media drives the campaign of the far-right frontrunner. Plus, the abuse faced by female journalists online.

Social media: The new battleground in Brazil’s election 

Brazil is Facebook‘s third-largest market and more than half of the population uses Whatsapp.

That is where Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, described by some as Donald Trump meets Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, has taken his political campaign. And like them, he has turned the mainstream media into his useful enemies.

The Listening Post looks at one of the primary battlegrounds in this election – the social media space in Brazil.

Lead contributors

Cesar Jimenez Martinez – Media scholar, Loughborough University
Gisele Federicce – Editor, Brasil 247
Ygor Salles – Social media editor, Folha de Sao Paulo
Douglas Garcia – Founder, Direita Sao Paulo

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Tariq Nafi about the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, following a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul; and US President Donald Trump’s accusation that China is printing “propaganda ads” in American newspapers.

Trolls and threats: Online harassment of female journalists

Female media professionals deal with the kind of online hate messages men will never see, such as comments about their gender, appearance and sexuality.

The language can be ugly and violent, as threats of sexual assaults and rape have grown disturbingly common. Because hiding behind an online profile is not difficult for trolls and the anonymity of social media has made the dissemination of abuse and hate as easy as a simple click.

The Listening Post spoke to two journalists about their experience with online harassment, and the effect it has on their work and wellbeing.

Feature contributors

Maria Ressa – CEO, Rappler
Sagarika Ghose – Consulting editor, The Times of India
Hannah Storm – Director, International News Safety Institute