Fake Twitter accounts claiming Brazil elections fraudulent surge: WaPo
The Washington Post reveals in an analysis that the proportion of fake Twitter accounts claiming that the elections in Brazil was fraudulent has increased 5-fold between October and January.
The number of fake accounts spreading news about Brazilian election fraud skyrocketed on Twitter in the months following President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's win in the presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
The newspaper noted that the fake accounts mostly claimed that the election results were fraudulent and that the loss of former President Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential election was fake.
According to an Israeli analytics firm, Cyabra, which was hired by Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, the results "suggest a major uptick in suspected bot activity online since Lula’s October win in Brazil."
The Washington Post pointed out that the report was shared with The Technology 202, and researchers estimated that the percentage of Twitter accounts believed to be “inauthentic” increased 5-fold between October and January, reaching an estimated 20% of accounts questioning the Brazilian elections.
The Washington Post revealed that the firm "scanned nearly 10,000 profiles mentioning the Brazilian election since September across Twitter and Facebook, finding similar but less pronounced trends on the latter."
Brazil Supreme Court Jan. 8 riots investigations to include Bolsonaro
The Supreme Court in Brazil, in its investigation into the incitement of the January 8 Brazil riots, agreed to include former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The request to investigate Bolsonaro came from the Attorney General's office to the Supreme Court in a statement, on January 13, that specified that the investigation looked at the “instigation and intellectual authorship of anti-democratic acts that resulted in episodes of vandalism and violence in Brasilia last Sunday.”
According to the court, there are seven different probes pertaining to the January 8 riots in Brasilia, among which there is one that investigated Bolosonaro's ties.
A video that questioned the electoral process
The evidence cited by the AG's office which compelled Justice Alexandre de Moraes to grant the request was a video that Bolsonaro had posted to Facebook two days after the Brasilia riots, in which an attorney in Mato Grosso allegedly questioned the legitimacy of Brazil's presidential election that brought President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to office once again.
More specifically, the video argued that Lula da Silva's election was brought on by a decision from the Supreme Court and Brazil's electoral offices rather than through a democratic election, thus questioning the legitimacy of the entire electoral process.
The video, however, was deleted from Facebook the morning after it was posted.
Prosecutors have maintained that, despite the fact that the video was posted after the riots took place, it remained plausible evidence to probe into Bolsonaro's role in the incitement of the riots. The prosecutors further noted that the video had "the power to incite new acts of civil insurgency."
Moreover, it was stated that the video might lead to Bolsonaro being charged with a "crime of incitement," which is punishable by three to six months in prison or a fine.
De Moraes' decision also included a request for a hearing to look into political communication on platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.