Bolsonaro in police crosshairs over spreading ‘election disinfo’ — Analysis

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of having a “direct and relevant” role in spreading disinformation about the country’s electoral system, a police report seen by Reuters claims.

The document claims that Bolsonaro engaged in several actions to spread misinformation among Brazilian voters. The document was seen by Reuters and it states that Denisse Ribeiro, Federal Police Commissioner, wrote Bolsonaro had posted on social media. “clear purpose” of misguiding Brazilians and raising questions about the integrity of the country’s electoral processes. 

“This investigation allowed us to identify that His Excellency President Jair Messias Bolsonaro had a direct and relevant action in promoting disinformation, following a pattern already used by other countries’ governments,” Ribeiro said. 

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Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed, multiple times, that the election’s electronic voting system was corrupted during his win in 2018. Bolsonaro claims he shouldn’t have been elected in the first round, but has not presented any evidence.

Bolsonaro has also looked to shed doubt on the outcome of next year’s election, suggesting he won’t accept it unless the electronic system is amended. The former army captain currently trails ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – known as Lula – in opinion polls.

Ribeiro’s report was sent to Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who is leading the country’s inquiry into fake news.

Bolsonaro has been known to violate social media rules. Senators asked the Supreme Court to ban Bolsonaro from using social media in October after he said that Covid-19 vaccines had been linked with AIDS. 



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