Brazilians turn to Instagram to identify far-right rebels

Brazilians turn to Instagram to identify far-right rebels

In just 24 hours, it reached 1.1 million followers.

“I’m not surprised that this account came out so quickly,” said David Nemer, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and adjunct faculty at Harvard University. “We all knew [the insurrectionists] have organized themselves into WhatsApp groups and Telegram channels because they are all open. It was all announced on social media. It was expected. There was no secrecy.”

The groups that started the attack are supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro. Despite the lack of evidence, they do not accept the recent election results, which returned leftist President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva to power, as legitimate. They camped out in front of military barracks across the country in protest before being bussed to the capital for the uprising.

As they rampaged around the lawns of Brazil’s federal government and inside Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace, the rioters left a trail of posts, videos and photos in their wake. They shared their actions on both public social media platforms and private messaging apps. Dozens of these images have been collected and posted by Contragolpe Brasil. In every photo, people’s faces are visible. Their clothes are almost always yellow and green, the colors of Brazil’s flag that Bolsonaro supporters say represent their love for their country and their attempt to take it back from the left.

Eventually, those running Contragolpe Brasil, who remain anonymous (interview requests for this story went unanswered), put out a call for people to start sending private messages with photos and identifying details. They also asked people to send the information to the authorities.

See also  Nexo says it 'hasn't given up' on bailout for rival Crypto Lender Vauld

The Instagram account is not the only crowdsourced effort underway in Brazil to identify rebels. Agência Lupa, a fact-checking agency, has created a reader-generated database of text, photo and video posts from the day of the riot, with all information sent anonymously and privately.

This method of identifying participants in mass criminal events by looking for clues in social media is not new. American citizens did the same to identify those responsible for the 2021 uprising. Some even formed groups, which Deep State Dogsto identify those who vandalized the Capitol or who attacked police officers and the press on January 6, 2021. Members of these groups were diverse, but had one common goal: Accountability.

In Brazil, a similar dynamic has emerged.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *