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Research Articles

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022)

#VACHINA: How Politicians Help to Spread Disinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines

October 7, 2021


This paper focuses on how Brazilian politicians helped to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, discussing legitimation strategies and actors that played a significant role on Twitter and Facebook. Based on data gathered through CrowdTangle and Twitter API, we selected the 250 most shared/retweeted posts for each dataset (n=500) and examined if they contained disinformation, who posted it, and what strategy was used to legitimize this discourse. Our findings indicate that politicians and hyperpartisan accounts have a key influence in validating the Brazilian president’s populist discourse through rationalization (pseudo-science) and denunciation (against the vaccine). The political frame also plays an important role in disinformation messages.


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