Nowadays, a substantial part of everyday use of the internet revolves around social media, which makes it an integral part within interpersonal relationships. Here, we investigate how the massified use of social media has influenced the dissemination of populist and hate speech, and how such propagation tends to influence the political choices of those platform’s users.For that, we studied Bolsonaro’s rise to power, since he built his political campaign and agenda through Facebook and Twitter. This dissertation provides a better understanding of the strategic role of social media in political communication. Further, we studied deeper the direct effects of the engagement levels throughout the innumerous posts on the redrafting of the populist candidates’ political agenda. This is a recent example where populism, despite not being a new phenomenon, gathers more support among the voters. This investigation analyzed all posts from Facebook and Twitter and the corresponding engagement indicators, published in his official profiles, during the presidential campaign period.It was determined that the mentioned issues are strong evidence that his speech relates and is inspired by the crucial elements of populism, namely appealing to the people, attacking the elite and ostracizing others. Moreover, both in his Facebook and Twitter, Bolsonaro’s communication strategy is shaped by his followers’ reactions. Specifically, we concluded that he did not publish more on issues that gather better engagement from his followers, but rather avoided publishing on issues the followers did not interacted with as much. On Twitter, though, this strategy has increased compared to Facebook.
|Date of Award||17 Mar 2021|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Rita Figueiras (Supervisor)|
- Jair Bolsonaro
- Social media
- Political agenda
- Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação