From Democracy Digest. Here is an excerpt:
The role of social media platforms and messaging apps in Sunday’s political violence in Brasília is under the spotlight after experts highlighted their use by Jair Bolsonaro supporters to question the presidential election result and organize the protests, The Guardian reports:
Nina Santos, a postdoctoral fellow at Brazil’s National Institute of Science and Technology in Digital Democracy, said the insurrection by radical Bolsonaristas was organized first on private messaging networks, such as Meta-owned WhatsApp and Telegram, before moving to public platforms for more visibility…. “There are strategies for this movement to be visible to those who are interested in it, but for it to remain under the radar of general monitoring efforts,” said Santos, citing the use of the expression “Festa da Selma” as a code to mobilise protesters without raising suspicions.
In 1989, the US was the world’s leading exporter of democracy, the Eurasia Group observes. Today, it is the leading exporter of tools that undermine democracy—the result of algorithms and social media platforms that rip at the fabric of civil society while maximizing profit, creating unprecedented political division, disruption, and dysfunction. That trend is accelerating fast—not driven by governments but by a small collection of individuals with little understanding of the social and political impact of their actions, it adds:
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