12 May

Lula launches his pre-campaign and increases interactions, but Bolsonaro maintains a good performance on social networks

Updated 19 de May, 2022 at 5:18 pm

  • The president used criticism coming from the artistic segment to drive topics such as the environment and the fight against Covid;
  • The launch of Lula’s pre-candidacy prompted a dispute over hashtags, with an advantage for mobilization for the Labor Party;
  • Pressured by the strength of Bolsonaro’s group and the launch of Lula’s pre-candidacy, support groups for third way presidential candidates come together in a single group;
  • A group associated with entertainment accounted for 10% of the profiles of the debate on presidential candidates and consolidated a strong presence and influence in the election year.

The launch of former president Lula’s pre-candidacy for the presidency of Brazil increased the interactions of the Labor Party (PT) on all networks. A survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP) identified more than 25.3 million interactions and views on the profiles, pages and channels of preidential hopefuls Jair Bolsonaro (PL), Lula (PT), Ciro Gomes (PDT), João Doria (PSDB), and Simone Tebet (MDB) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube between April 25 and May 08.

Despite the PT’s growth, President Jair Bolsonaro maintained a high volume of interactions in the period, remaining far ahead especially on Facebook and Instagram. The clash between the hashtags in support of Bolsonaro and Lula’s pre-candidacy between May 07 and 08 showed the high capacity to mobilize profiles around the PT candidacy and the attempt to react by the President’s allies. The third way candidates continued to have a low level of mobilization capacity on the networks, becoming united into a single group in the analysis of the evolution of allied profiles on Twitter. Future reports will indicate whether this approximation was a one-time occurrence or if it signifies a real convergence between political groups.

General debate

Map of interactions in mentions to presidential hopefuls on Twitter
Period: May 02 to 08

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Blue – 37.90% of profiles | 58.75% of interactions
Group formed around right-wing politicians and bloggers, alternative media channels and conservative digital influencers, engaging on replies given by @jairbolsonaro to messages posted by singer @anitta calling on young Brazilians to register to vote and warning about the importance of preserving the Amazon. In addition to the replies, the group also shared the agenda and measures taken by the federal government in the sectors of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure, such as the pardon of FIES debts and the conclusion of water works in cities in the state of Paraíba. The group also attacked images showing @lulaoficial’s security guards carrying guys – which they see as a hypocrisy – the former president’s presence on the cover of the Time magazine.

Red – 40.28% of profiles | 32.08% of interactions
Group centered on left-wing politicians, journalists, bloggers, artists and entertainment channels, commenting on the launch of @lulaoficial’s presidential pre-campaign on Saturday (7), with intense sharing of the jingle Sem medo de ser feliz (“Not afraid to be happy”) and the campaign slogan #vamosjuntospelobrasil (“let’s go together for Brazil”). The profiles also focused on criticizing acts of the current administration such as the secrecy imposed on information from the presidential palace and expenses with the corporate card.

Pink – 10.80% of profiles | 2.97% of interactions
Group driven by profiles of artists, political scientists and journalists opposing the current president Jair Bolsonaro, sharing information about voter registration and criticizing the administration and policies adopted by the current president. In addition, this group questioned why Jair Bolsonaro still has several supporters or “defenders”, since the federal government has been involved in several scandals of public mismanagement, such as negligence in the fight against the pandemic, unemployment, inflation, misuse of public funds, and people eating bones for food.

Orange – 5.87% of profiles | 5.00% of interactions
Composed of communication channels, the former judge and former Minister of Justice Sergio Moro, and the presidential candidate Ciro Gomes, this group focused on criticizing the presidential candidates Lula and Bolsonaro. The criticisms aimed at Jair Bolsonaro were related to fuel price policies approved by the federal government and to the potential ties between Bolsonaro’s office and the owner of the gold seized by the Federal Police in Sorocaba (SP). The criticism aimed at the presidential candidate Lula concerns his alleged preference for authoritarian regimes and for Putin in the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. In addition, there was also information emphasizing that the average level of deforestation in the Amazon was higher in the FHC and Lula administrations.

Major tweets inside the groups in the map of interactions
Period: Period: May 02 to 08

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Evolution of the dispute between the major hashtags supporting Bolsonaro and Lula on Twitter
Analysis period: May 02 to 08

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • The hashtags #vamosjuntospelobrasil and #brasilcombolsonaro (“Brazil with Bolsonaro) were respectively in first and second place in the Trending Topics on Twitter during the launch of Lula’s pre-candidacy on May 7.
  • The hashtag #vamosjuntospelobrasil, used by supporters of the presidential candidate Lula, began to grow at 8 am and peaked around 12 pm, with more than 17,000 interactions;
  • The hashtag #brasilcombolsonaro, which mobilized supporters of the current president, began to grow at around 12 pm and peaked at 6 pm, with 5,720 mentions;
  • The day after Lula’s pre-candidacy was launched, the hashtags were once again used by supporters of the two presidential candidates, but without the same volume seen the day before.

Interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls

Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Twitter
Analysis period: April 25 to May 08 | Aggregated per week

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • President Jair Bolsonaro saw a drop in interactions and got closer to former President Lula at the end of the analyzed period. The president continued to focus on posting ironic content and levereging prominent critics to drive his content. Among the tweets with the most interactions was a joke about the parody made by a samba school with his image and replies tagging the singer Anitta and the actor Leonardo Di Caprio;
  • On Twitter, former President Lula continued to grow, driven by interactions with popular topics among young people and by the launch of his presidential candidacy, which saw a peak of 634,000 interactions throughout the day. Among the most prominent publications are a photo with the lawyer and influencer, Dr. Deolane Bezerra, the publication of a Time magazine cover containing the candidate, and a tweet referring to the Star Wars film series;
  • The presidential candidate Ciro Gomes criticized President Bolsonaro for the pardon granted to Daniel Silveira, spoke about the Petrobras pricing policy and published his political schedule.


Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Facebook
Analysis period: April 25 to May 08 | Aggregated per week

Source: Facebook | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • Facebook is the network in which President Jair Bolsonaro has the largest distance from his main opponents in the presidential race. For five weeks, Bolsonaro has remained above seven million interactions, demonstrating stability after periods of oscillation. The highlights were posts seeking to drive topics such as the environment and the government’s performance in the pandemic, levereging criticism made by profiles and segments of the artistic field.
  • After several weeks oscillating between one and two million interactions, President Lula achieved significant growth in the last two weeks. Still far from
  • Bolsonaro’s numbers, Lula’s growth was based on videos about the launch of his pre-campaign for the presidency.
  • The other pre-candidates continued to show a very low volume of interactions on the platform throughout the analyzed period.


Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Instagram
Analysis period: April 25 to May 08 | Aggregated per week

Source: Instagram | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • After being surpassed by Lula in the week of April 25, Bolsonaro returned to the leadership in interactions on Instagram, driven by posts addressing key issues to reach voters from other political fields. Among the highlights, there was a screen capture of a response to the singer Anitta, on Twitter, in which the president defended statistics from his administration regarding the environment. Another highlight was an attempt to cater to the young and female electorate, with programs such as Emprega + Mulher.
  • Although former President Lula published about relevant events in his biography and presidential candidacy, such as the UN’s position regarding his trial and the launch of his pre-candidacy, the publication with the most interactions was a photo with the lawyer and influencer Dr. Deolane Bezerra.
  • Third-way candidates had a very low volume of interactions, accounting for just over 10% of the interactions of the candidate in second place, former President Lula.


Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on YouTube
Analysis period: April 25 to May 08 | Aggregated per week

Source: YouTube | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • On YouTube, the presidential candidate Lula leads the number of views. The videos that had the most views showed Lula at the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) convention and a meeting with political leaders – such as the congresswoman Joênia Wapichana and the senator Randolfe Rodrigues – to formally declare the support of the Rede Sustentabilidade party for Lula in the 2022 presidential elections.
  • President Jair Bolsonaro and presidential candidate Ciro Gomes are fighting for second place in the race for the videos with the most views. However, President Jair Bolsonaro had the largest number of views with his weekly live broadcast on April 28. In that broadcast, Bolsonaro mentioned the strong support he has received on the streets and emphasizes social, economic and political problems experienced in other countries. The president also justified the increase in fuel prices as a consequence of the war between Ukraine and Russia and the economic problems as remnants of the pandemic and the campaign to “stay home”.
  • The presidential candidates João Doria and Simone Tebet posted videos with a more propagandist approach. While Simone Tebet launched a biography emphasizing her professional and political trajectory, João Doria showed the XXIII March to Brasília in Defense of Municipalities, with the presence of several business leaders.