Bots sent half of the posts by President Jair Bolsonaro's supporters on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the pro-government demonstration and against the National Congress and the Judiciary.
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A study by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Foundation of the School of Sociology and Politics of Sao Paulo (FespSP) shows that 55 percent of the 1.2 million publications that used the hashtag #BolsonaroDay were made by bots, automatic accounts.
Researchers collected data on the hashtags most used by the president's support groups on Twitter between Jan.1 and March 15. The group identified 22,000 hashtags that were classified in a list of the most used. According to the study, 66,000 accounts were identified as responsible for approximately 1.2 million tweets.
The bots who used the hashtag #BolsonaroDay posted about 700 tweets on Sunday, March 15, when the pro-government events took place. The most active profiles even posted an average of 1,200 tweets per day. The study also found that real users have an average of three to ten tweets per day. The most active among them reach up to 50 tweets per day.
The study was carried out by 12 researchers and coordinated by professors Rose Marie Santini of the UFRJ and Isabela Kalil of the FespSP.
The Brazilian president is not living his best moments since the approval rate of Bolsonaro has fallen to its lowest level since he took office last year.
Brazilians overwhelmingly disapprove of Bolsonaro's minimization of the COVID-19 pandemic and support governors and health authorities who have been attacked by the president for advocating social distancing measures or quarantine, showed two polls on Friday.