Cyber war and absence of actors from institutional politics mark the debate about Russia and Ukraine on Twitter in Brazil
Updated 10 de March, 2022 at 9:45 am
- Debate about Russia and Ukraine accounted for more than 1.97 million posts on Twitter;
- Among presidential hopefuls, Sérgio Moro stood out in the debate by criticizing Jair Bolsonaro’s posture and condemning the authoritarianism of dictatorships;
- The absence of actors from institutional politics, particularly in the left wing, draws attention on Twitter;
- Criticism made by the group aligned with the government targeted the media and other traditional actors, with no direct criticism of the Russian government.
The recent developments between Russia and Ukraine have continued to mobilize social networks in Brazil. From February 25 to March 2, there were more than 1.97 million posts on Twitter about the two countries, according to a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP).
Evolution of the debate about Russia and Ukraine on Twitter
Period: February 9 to March 3
Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP
There were several moments of mobilization on the platform. The highest peak happened on February 24 (with 1.37 million tweets), when the Russia troops advanced over Ukraine and the posts reacted to the potential imminence of a third World War. However, on February 25 (with around 30 thousand mentions in the debate), there was a new peak of mentions about the declaration of cyber war made by the group Anonymous against the Russian government, followed by their deactivation of the website of a Russian propaganda station.
Map of interactions in the debate about Russia and Ukraine on Twitter
Period: February 25 to March 02
Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP
Orange – 19.00% of profiles | 21.05% of interactions
Group comprised of profiles of communication channels, teachers and common users – including the profile of Sergio Moro –, who criticized Jair Bolsonaro’s possible support for Russia and condemned the authoritarianism of dictatorships – such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba – for perpetuating wars and violence. The posts also highlighted the advance of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory and the bombing of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.
Blue – 23.97% of profiles | 37.80% of interactions
Group orbiting the profile of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and mobilized by profiles of bloggers and conservative digital influencers that commented about the hacker attack against Russia and raised the possibility of the Brazilian media spreading fake news. The posts denied the information that Jair Bolsonaro allegedly spoke with the Russian president on February 27, stating that the conversation took place on February 16, when Jair Bolsonaro was in Russia during his official visit.
Pink – 15.84% of profiles | 10.46% of interactions
Group comprised of communication channels and common user profiles, who commented about the hacker attack against the Russian government, mentioned the statement made by Jair Bolsonaro in which he mocked the fate of a country who elected a comedian, and discussed the attitudes of solidarity from all over the world to the Ukrainian people in their moments of tension and war.
Lilac – 7.16% of profiles | 4.38% of interactions
Group comprised of entertainment channels and profiles of common users, who mocked the information that Jair Bolsonaro talked to Putin, the Russian president, for two hours to talk about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In addition, the posts commented about the fact that Ukraine elected a comedian to lead the country.
Yellow – 19.27% of profiles | 20.17% of interactions
Group mobilized by political scientists, journalists and historians, highlighting the walking out of several world leaders to the speech given by Lavrov, Russian Minister, on human rights at the UN, drawing attention to the fact that Brazil did not walk out and remained in the room. In addition, the posts commented about a list published by the Chinese government about American interventions since World War II. Among other information, this list mentioned attempts of “sabotage and regime change”, including the removal of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.