What makes “fake news” fake news? Why do some accept it as fact while others denounce it as fiction? Is it all a matter of perspective? That may be the case, but these questions are not really addressed by David Nemer in his Guardian article in which he identifies three types of Bolsonaro WhatsApp users. For Nemer, the question is: how is social media being used to help support this guy and what is going to happen when he takes over? This paper will provide a synthesis of the ideas discussed in Nemer’s article, assess them in terms of contributions and limitations of the author’s main point and concepts, and provide questions at the end to help facilitate class discussion.
There is one main argument in Nemer’s text and three crucial concepts. The main argument is that just as social media was used to get Trump elected in the US, social media is being used to get Bolsonaro elected in Brazil. The three concepts he focuses on are: 1) the concept of the ordinary Brazilian, 2) the concept of the Bolsominion, and the concept of the influencer. The ordinary Brazilian is defined as “men and women from all social classes who use the groups to share the life experiences they invoke to justify voting for Bolsonaro” (p. 1). They are not looking for debate, however;…who use it. Instead of seeing them as people who are thoughtful and capable of making up their own minds, he sees them as manipulated by fake news. There appears to be some bias in his reporting for this reason.
Why is that when anyone opposed to liberal, progressive doctrines gains traction, that person is labeled as far-right? Isn’t it sufficient to just call the person as being on the Right? Is the term “far” attached so as to make the person seem more extremist and therefore more of a threat to public safety? Can’t one see that it is exactly this type of framing that makes people on the Right so ready…
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