We analyze the post

Since the holding of the second round of elections in Brazil on October 30, a significant increase in messages from supporters of Jair Bolsonaro who question the result by which Lula da Silva has been elected president and they maintain that there has been fraud. There is a narrative that is repeated in a good part of the publications that we are analyzing:

  • It is affirmed that the fraud existed and alleged evidence is exposed

  • The idea that the popular will has been violated with street demonstrations is reinforced with videos in which current concentrations are mixed with other massive ones that are not related

  • A military intervention is expressly requested to stop Lula’s coming to power and images of uniformed men are broadcast out of context to imply that this intervention is already taking place

We analyze the three variants of this disinformation narrative that aims to turn some results that have been accredited as real by the Superior Electoral Tribunal of Brazil and by international electoral observers.

Accusations of fraud without evidence

We found on social networks repeated numerous times the message that assures that the elections have been fraudulent because there are polling stations in which Lula has obtained 100% of the votes and Bolsonaro 0%. They claim that this result is proof that the final count is not reliable. One of the messages that reproduce this idea says: “[FRAUDE] Confresa/MT section registers 383 votes for Lula and 0 for Bolsonaro according to data from the TSE”. The data is true, but it is out of context because in that specific electoral table, an indigenous community votes in a unitary way for the same candidate after an assembly.

At polling station 158 in the municipality of Confresa, in the state of Mato Grosso, the vote count was: Lula 383 votes, Bolsonaro 0 votes. You may check the specific result of this ballot box at the headquarters of the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court. These data are explained because the indigenous community that casts its vote in this ballot box decide the election collectivelyas indicated in a statement by the Apyãwa Tapirapé village of Confresa on Instagram. The note recalls that indigenous peoples are “the first inhabitants of Brazil” and that they exercise their “role as citizens following the federal constitution.” As they say in their statement: “We are an organized people who met to discuss who would be the best candidate to represent us for the next four years.”

As was the case in the 2020 US elections, the electoral fraud hoax began to be fabricated before voters went to the polls. President Bolsonaro himself sowed the seeds of distrust in the voting system, which he described as a “farce””. However, as verified by Brazilian verifiers (1 Y two), these are accusations without evidence. In fact, the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil ordered the removal of videos in which the president himself spread this disinformation from the presidential headquarters.

Completed the electoral day and the recount at the polls, numerous network messages have spread a Twitter thread presenting it as if it were “proof” that there was “fraud” in the second round of the presidential elections, but it’s false. This succession of messages does not show irregularities in the second round of these elections.

Messages from networks that spread the hoax of the Twitter thread about fraud VerifyRTVE

The thread refers to data from the first electoral round, not the second, when in that round of the elections there is no record of fraud complaints, not even from Bolsonaro. The author of the thread himself rectifies in his thirteenth message and admits that He has “never” believed “seriously” in “election fraud” although he adds that “there is a real possibility”. The thread uses as source a report that the author himself defines as “apocryphal” and that spreads the hoax of fraud in the results of the electoral college of the municipality of Confresa. The succession of messages, therefore, does not show irregularities in the second round of the Brazilian presidential elections.

The TSE repudiates the ‘anti-democratic movements’

The Superior Electoral Court presented on Thursday, November 3, the official results of the second round of the presidential elections. In the act, the president of the institution, Alexandre de Moraes, responded to allegations of voter fraud that have been denounced through demonstrations and roadblocks in Brazil: “There is no way to challenge a democratically publicized result, with illicit movements, with anti-democratic movements, with criminal movements that will be fought”. Moraes referred to the road closures that have taken place these days in Brazil as a sign of protest against the defeat of Bolsonaro. In addition, the president of the TSE referred to the reports of the Electoral Observers present during the electoral day that reaffirm the “Total reliability of the Brazilian electoral system and electronic voting machines.

Decontextualized videos of protests

The reaction of some of Bolsonaro’s supporters convinced of the existence of fraud has been to concentrate on block roads and organize demonstrations in different cities or towns of the country. They thus try to prevent the leader of the Workers’ Party from taking office as the new president. Most of the images that have spread are true and you can see them on RTVE.es. However, we also detected several decontextualized videos with images that do not correspond to these days of protest on social networks.

In one of the most circulated on Facebook we see protesters dressed in yellow occupying a road. The text that accompanies the recording shared on November 2 reads: “Now in Niterói, people on the street[…] Bolsonaro, we don’t want Lula.” It’s a hoax. The video is not currentwas registered on September 30, 2018 on the Third Bridge, which connects the cities of Vitória and Vila Velha, in the state of Espírito Santo.

Publication that uses a decontextualized video to talk about the protests against the electoral result VerifyRTVE

It is a Demonstration in favor of Bolsonaro when he was a candidate for the presidential elections of the year 2018. On this website you can see a photograph showing the same frame of the video that has been broadcast as if it were current. this same stuff It was already used to spread another hoax in the year 2019, which was denied by a Brazilian verification team.

Another 9-second video circulating on networks shows a massive meeting in which the participants light up the night with their phones. The account that shares it places it in Brasilia on November 2, 2022 and use military dress emojis in the description. It’s about a decontextualized video that was recorded on October 28 during a evangelical act in the Esplanada dos Ministérios in Brasilia.

Publication that uses a decontextualized video to talk about the protests against the electoral result VerifyRTVE

We have found similar content shared on Friday, October 28 on TikTok and also in Youtube. On this platform, it is indicated in the description of the video that the event consisted of “four hours of prayer for President Bolsonaro”. Another piece of evidence showing that the video is not from November 2 is that on Monday, October 31 the Military Police closed the Esplanada dos Ministérios to prevent an invasion of truckers protesting against the election results.

A video has been shared on YouTube since November 3 showing uniformed people singing the national anthem alongside kneeling truck drivers. The accompanying text says that they are “policemen who were called to remove the protesters and gave a surprise”, implying that they joined the current protests against Bolsonaro’s defeat instead of breaking them up. It’s false. The video it is not recent nor is it related to the blockages after the elections, circulates since at least 2018 and corresponds to the strike against rising fuel prices of said year. During a moment of the protest, police, military and truck drivers joined to sing the anthem of Brazil, a gesture that became popular in those demonstrations four years ago (1 Y two).

Neither the Armed Forces nor the Police have supported a ‘federal intervention’

Despite the messages spread by Bolsonaro supporters encouraging a federal intervention against Lula’s victory, since the polls closed, neither the Armed Forces neither the Federal Police nor any other security force in Brazil has supported the calls to a “federal intervention” promoted by some Bolsonaristas.

Videos of military convoys and movements and operations of soldiers and police after Lula’s victory have circulated on social networks, but they are old recordings, decontextualized images of events that have no relation to these presidential elections. They are hoaxes in short, with those who try to make believe that the soldiers are opposed to Lula assuming the Presidency on January 1, 2023.

An example is this video of an alleged invasion of the military and police in the Brazilian Parliament broadcast on TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Kwai with messages that they present it as an intervention by soldiers and police in response to Lula’s victory but it is false. The text states: “Federal and military police invaded the National Congress today and the media remained silent” with letters superimposed on the recording. The hoax in video format actually shows two different actions that happened in 2016 and 2017. The first part belongs to a police protest on February 8, 2017 at the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies and the second corresponds to the invasion of the same legislative chamber on November 16, 2016 starring about 40 far-right protesters.

Another video of military vehicles circulating through the streets of a Brazilian city while the uniformed men are cheered by civilians is also broadcast. It is advertised on social networks as if it were a military intervention in response to Lula’s victory, but it is not true. The images were recorded in 2018 and they have nothing to do with the second round of the presidential elections and Lula’s victory.

Image that is disseminated on networks in which the vehicles of the military troops are shown traveling through the streets VerifyRTVE

The scene we see in the video It happened on the night of October 28, 2018. Is he return of a military convoy to the city of Niterói after having participated in the security operation of the second round of the presidential elections that year. The civilians they come across are supporters of Jair Bolsonaro who celebrate the victory of their candidate four years ago.

We analyze the post-election disinformation narrative in Brazil