18 Jun

In 6 million tweets, there were more than 500 thousand mentions to deaths by Covid-19

Deaths by Covid-19

Updated 22 de June, 2021 at 3:59 pm

  • The death of the actor Paulo Gustavo was mentioned in 1 million posts and became the most significant episode in the debate;
  • 40% of the profiles engaged in the debate lamented the deaths and blamed the government’s poor management of public health for the negative outcome of the pandemic;
  • More than 30% of the interactions on Twitter questioned the Covid-19 death toll and made jokes about the efficacy of vaccines.

Evolution of mentions to Covid-19 deaths on Twitter
Period: April 10 to June 17, 2021

Source: Twitter

The Covid-19 death toll in Brazil, which is close to reaching 500 thousand, became the topic of 6.1 million posts on Twitter between April 10 and June 17 according to a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP). A peak of mentions to the topic was identified on May 5 due to the death of the actor and comedian Paulo Gustavo. At that moment, the debate reached 901.6 thousand tweets.

Top words in the debate about deaths by Covid-19 on Twitter
Period: April 10 to June 17, 2021

Source: Twitter

Top hashtags in the debate about Covid-19 deaths on Twitter
Period: April 10 to June 17, 2021

Source: Twitter

A large part of the debate blamed the federal government’s negligence and omission for the negative outcome of Covid-19 in the country, particularly regarding restrictive measures to contain the pandemic and the delay for purchasing vaccines to immunize the population. Many posts trust that the “Covid inquiry” will expedite the identification and clarification of the federal government’s controversial performance. The hashtags that stood out in the debate included #cpidacovid (“Covid inquiry”), in 66.8 thousand tweets; #forabolsonaro (“out Bolsonaro”), in 54.7 thousand tweets; #bolsonarogenocida (“Bolsonaro genocidal”), in 30.4 thousand tweets, and #29mforabolsonaro (“out Bolsonaro May 29”), in 24. 3 thousand tweets, referring to the demonstrations against the government on May 29,

Map of interactions in the debate about Covid-19 deaths on Twitter
Period: June 1st to 17, 2021

Source: Twitter

Red – 39.7% of profiles | 50% of interactions
Group centered around left-wing politicians, health professionals, and influencers and bloggers opposing the federal government, who showed their indignation regarding the constant increases in the Covid-19 death toll in Brazil compared to other countries and even the world population. The group mentioned the federal government’s refusals of vaccine offers, the agglomerations promoted by pro-government demonstrations in June, and the population’s non-compliance with restrictive measures, commenting that many deaths could have been avoided. Many profiles showed their concern regarding the potential consequences of hosting the Copa América in the country.

Blue – 16.3% of profiles | 23.3% of interactions
Group mobilized by journalists, right-wing commentators, conservative entrepreneurs and politicians supporting the federal government, who questioned the coronavirus death toll in Brazil and joked about the efficacy of vaccines in containing the proliferation of the virus. The group also called the pandemic a “fraudemic”, arguing that around 50% of the deaths registered in 2020 were not of Brazilians suffering from Covid-19, and made posts based on individual, single-person stories showing potential sequelae and adverse reactions from Covid-19 vaccines.

Yellow – 10.4% of profiles | 6.4% of interactions
Group composed of profiles of ordinary users who lamented the deaths caused by Covid-19 in Brazil and expressed concern about the increase in the death toll from the disease, insisting on the urgency of vaccinating the population. In response to recent statements by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), some posts also reinforced the use of masks as a necessary measure to fight the spread of the pandemic.