29 Apr

Government support group mobilizes support for Inquiry Commission and disputes the narrative about January 8

Updated 24 de May, 2023 at 4:30 pm

  • After the repercussion of recordings of the former minister Gonçalves Dias among the opposition, government supporters started mobilizing support for the Inquiry Commission, standing out on Twitter;
  • Government supporters also gained space on Facebook over the week, although they are still a minority;
  • Both congressional representatives and citizens have been following the legislative procedures for the installation of the Inquiry Commission by announcing news and gathering materials for the investigation.

The Federal Government’s support for the January 8 Inquiry Commission (CPMI) changed the characteristics of the digital debate about the investigation. Although the investigation was originally supported by the pro-Bolsonaro opposition, the government’s reaction to the disclosure of Gonçalves Dias’s images was marked by the appropriation of the debate around the so-called “Coup Inquiry”, but the topic is still in dispute. Those were the findings of a survey by the School of Communication at FGV, which analyzed the public debate about the CPMI on Twitter and Facebook between April 19 and 27, 2023.



Evolution of the debate about the January 8 Inquiry on Twitter
Period: April 19 to 27

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


  • The temporal analysis shows a peak on April 19, when recordings of the former minister Gonçalves Dias were disclosed. In an urgent tone, opposition profiles reproduced the material and indicated that the images allegedly revealed Lula’s and the Pt’s participation and interest in the anti-democratic demonstrations;
  • After this initial moment, two other peaks stood out. Between April 21 and 24, the digital debate reflected the government’s position. With a reversal of the logic observed earlier, left-wing profiles started to defend the so-called “Coup Inquiry” or “Coupist Inquiry”, demanding the investigation of the actions of pro-Bolsonaro electors and representatives for a complete “elucidation” of the facts;
  • The opposition, a minority, continued attacking Flávio Dino and accusing the government of intervening inappropriately. They also made claims that the vote for the Fake News Bill is strategically delaying the agenda.


Major terms related to the Inquiry on Twitter
Period: April 19 to 27, 2022


Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


  • The list of the most frequent terms aggregated in the period indicates that the Inquiry has been debated on Twitter as a battlefield between the government and the opposition. This has happened both in terms of the attribution of political interest to the investigation and in terms of the legislative composition of the Inquiry Commission;
  • The recent adherence of pro-government representatives to an agenda that had been led by the opposition can be illustrated by the comparison between the daily clouds on April 19 and 20, when the movement started to take shape. While there were accusations that Gonçalves Dias’s images allegedly revealed ties between the demonstrations and the Federal Government (as indicated in a previous report) in the most frequent terms on April 19, other designations and perspectives began appearing on April 20, with terms such as “Coup Inquiry”, “coupist acts” and “anti-democratic acts”;
  • The analysis period shows that government and opposition supporters have been actively commenting on the Inquiry proposal, gathering materials to be included in the investigation and monitoring the installation of the Commission. With a protagonism of government supporters, mentions of “JANONES I AUTHORIZE” and “MATERIAL FOR THE INQUIRY” stood out, with the publication of videos that show the participation of journalists and representatives close to Bolsonaro in the demonstration and demands for the congressman André Janones to participate actively from in the Inquiry. Therefore, it can be noted that the change in the government’s perspective regarding the installation of the Commission was fully appropriated by its supporters.



Evolution of the debate about the January 8 Inquiry on Facebook
Period: April 19 to 27


Source: Facebook | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


  • The evolution of the volume of debate registered on Facebook followed a similar profile to that on Twitter in terms of the peaks on April 19 and 24, but there was greater emphasis on the reading of the Inquiry request on April 26;
  • Publications made by public authorities dominated the debate and led in interactions. There was a greater presence of opposition representatives, such as the congressional representatives Carla Zambelli (PL), Marcel van Hattem (NOVO) and Ricardo Arruda (PL-PR). Still on April 19 and reaching the highest volume of interactions in the period, they commented on Gonçalves Dias’s images and associated them with the need to install the Inquiry. On April 26, some of them announced and celebrated the installation of the Inquiry;
  • Pro-government representatives also stood out, although as a minority. That was the case of Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE), with a publication about a news piece aired by the TV program Fantástico on April 23. The content was presented as a “revelation” of the participation of Bolsonaro supporters in the attacks on January 8 based on the exhibition of the complete recordings after the breach of secrecy.