25 Mar

Bolsonaro’s statement unites the opposition on the networks against him

The discourse increases the isolation of the president’s support group in the debate on the networks

Updated 27 de March, 2020 at 10:55 am

  • On Twitter, the groups “not aligned” and “left wing” merged together in their reactions to the statement, which generated 3.5 million posts between 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday and midnight on Wednesday;
  • The “right-wing” group maintained a similar level to the observed since the beginning of the pandemic crisis, but with a small decrease in the presence on the debate compared to Monday (23);
  • On YouTube, negative reactions have surpassed the positive ones since the end of Bolsonaro’s speech.


The statement by president Jair Bolsonaro on national TV and radio on Tuesday night (24) caused a strong convergence of the opposition groups against the tone he adopted as a reaction to the Covid-19 crisis. For the first time since the WHO announced the coronavirus pandemic, the analysis by the Department of Public Police Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP) identified a union of the groups “not aligned” and “left wing” regarding the statement on twitter.

The group containing Bolsonaro’s support group maintained a similar level of participation in the debate observed since the beginning of the crisis (fluctuating daily between 6% and 8% of the presence on the network), but with a small decrease in the debate compared to Monday (23), indicating an increase in the isolation of the president’s support group on the networks.
In total, there were 6 million posts on Twitter this Tuesday about the coronavirus and the political scenario, the historic peak of daily debate observed by FGV DAPP since the beginning of March; considering only the period between 8:30 p.m. (the beginning of the statement) and midnight, there were 3.5 million mentions. In the complete period monitored, there have been 50 million posts on the social networks related to the pandemic in the country.

The reorganization of a united group containing users from the left wing and other sides of the political spectrum increases the relevance of the response given by different sectors of the society in opposition of the president, including old supporters. The only group still mobilizing the agenda supporting the government is the stable group of pro-Bolsonaro representatives, influencers aligned with Olavo de Carvalho and the profiles of the president and his family.


FGV DAPP also monitored the evolution of ratings in the video of the statement on Tuesday (24) by Jair Bolsonaro on Youtube. According to the data, the video, which was broadcast live by a channel of TV Brasil, TV BrasilGov, was played more than 3.9 million times until midday on Wednesday (25), with 529 thousand evaluations, out of which 175 thousand were positive and 354 thousand were negative. The distance between dislikes and likes increased by 5.2 times between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Until midday on Wednesday (25), the distance was of 179 thousand dislikes.

Debate about the resignation of minister Mandetta

After Bolsonaros statement, a unified movement was organized on Twitter including the political left to center-right with users questioning the permanence of the Minister of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta in office. From the beginning of the Presidents speech on TV and with data until 12:00 this Wednesday , there were 72,500 posts on the subject, with more than 80% of the interactions articulated from accounts that call for Mandettas resignation. The rest of the engagement came from pro-Bolsonaro groups that positively reproduce posts from the minister, from the Ministry of Health and from government initiatives, arguing that the country cannot stop.

The main argument mobilized by those who support Mandettas resignation shows a moral aspect, mentioning the ministers medical training and the professional oath medical students take at graduation. 19% of the posts mention the ministers profession, and 8% mention the oath. The hashtag #renunciamandetta (resign Mandetta) has been used, but with little relevance and less than a thousand posts so far.

The peak of interactions associated with the ministers potential resignation occurred after 10 p.m., with an increase in the presence of influencers that discussed Bolsonaros statement as opposed to the position of the governors and other government officials. During this period, until 11 p.m., there was an average of 420 tweets/minute about the topic on the network. Memes were also produced and shared suggesting new messages for the Ministry of Health, such as not listening to the president, ignoring his recommendations and assuming Mandetta and the presidential office are independent bodies.