14 Sep

‘Silence suggests it was poorly received’: Pro-Bolsonaro groups ignored ‘imbrochável’ on Twitter

by Sul 21

Por Duda Romagna

Updated 21 de October, 2022 at 11:04 am

Last Wednesday, September 7, president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) gave a speech in Brasília after the Independence bicentennial parades. Around 11:30 a.m., after giving the first lady a kiss, Bolsonaro pulled a chorus of “imbrochável” (the one who never fails at the time of sex, “never limp”). Until that time, the occurrences of the word in social network posts were practically zero, but within minutes the term was already hot topic on Twitter.



According to data obtained by the report through the social network monitoring platform Trendsmap, in a period of 12 hours after the president’s speech, 97,300 tweets including “imbrochável” or “imbroxável” (another way to spell it) were published, 45% by women and 55% by men. At 2:40 p.m., after the speech had been broadcast on social networks and in newspapers, there was a peak of on average 280 tweets published per minute.



Visualization of clusters in graph generated by Gephi software


Despite the great media repercussion, if analyzed by clusters – groups with similar interests – the term barely circulated among Bolsonaro’s supporters. Using the Gephi tool, which analyzes the raw data received by Trendsmap, it is possible to get a visualization of the polarization of the debate until 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The red, orange, and yellow connections in the graph represent profiles of journalists, left-wing politicians, and influencers. The lines in green, on the other hand, are the pro-Bolsonaro group.

For Victor Piaia, a researcher at the School of Communication, Media and Information at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV ECMI), what can be noticed is that the pro-Bolsonaro groups have a greater organization on social networks such as Twitter. So, strategically, there is a choice of what is relevant to keep discussing. “When people don’t like [what was said by Bolsonaro] there is a silence. The silence suggests it was poorly received. When they like it, they talk, there’s a response,” she explains.

Who stands out for having, contrary to the majority, insisted and reinforced the discourse is the pro-Bolsonaro businessman Leandro Ruschel.



For comparison, on these same lines, a search for the term “Bolsonaro” indicates a much larger mobilization of posts commenting on the president’s conduct that same day. During the 12 hours, 510,200 tweets were recorded, with a peak of 1,200 per minute at 5:39 p.m. From the graph, it is possible to identify that Bolsonaro’s supporters were present in the network. In the image below, the division between his cluster and that of the opposition becomes clearer, and both are almost equal in size.


Visualization of clusters in graph generated by Gephi software


The Digital Democracy Room at FGV ECMI is an initiative to monitor and analyze the public debate on the internet. Currently, it has partnerships to help monitor politics on the networks in Brazil and in Latin America. This content was produced by the partner Sul 21.