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Hulk, Luke Skywalker, DiCaprio: Who's behind the campaign for young people to take away voter registration

In the last days of April, several Hollywood artists promoted a campaign on social networks, started by Brazilian artists such as singer Anitta and former BBB Juliette, actress Taís Araújo and youtuber Felipe Neto, appealing to teenagers Brazilians take their voter registration and vote in the next elections.

Among the most illustrious participants are the American actor Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk from the Marvel movies; Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker from ‘Star Wars’; actress Julianne Moore, star of ‘Jurassic Park’; and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Este último teve a sua publicação no Twitter respondida de forma irônica pelo presidente Jair Bolsonaro, que agradeceu dizendo que o povo brasileiro decidirá se a Amazônia continuará soberana ou será entregue a “vigaristas que atendem a interesses especiais estrangeiros”.

The dissemination of artists follows a pattern: they highlight the importance of voting for teenagers from 16 years old — which in Brazil only are required to vote after 16 years old —, include campaign hashtags and add links redirecting to sites that aggregate information about how young people can take your voter registration card.

Mark Ruffalo released the website for the ‘Olha o Barulhinho’ campaign, which seeks to have a relaxed language with memes to attract young people, but does not have any information about who they are the authors or funders. In addition, the site has been registered on a foreign domain, so that the owner’s information is hidden. tary. DiCaprio, in addition to ‘Olha o Barulhinho’, promoted the websites ‘Seu Voto Matta’ and ‘Cada Voto Conta’, thanking them for being “heroes of democracy”.

The strategy is that the artists’ manifestations seem spontaneous. However, behind this campaign there is an intense organization, great productions (even a video clip, with the initiative of the organization Atlas das Juventudes, an NGO that produces data to assist in public policies, was produced by the funk channel Kondzilla, which has more than 65 millions of subscribers on YouTube), links with left-wing parties and environmental and foreign NGOs, and potential billionaire interests in the upcoming elections.

The organization recalls the “Mensalinho do Twitter”, a scheme discovered in the elections of 2018 in which influencers were paid to praise the candidate for re-election to the government of Piauí, Wellington Dias (PT ), with standardized publications similar to these. The case was investigated by the Electoral Court.

Experts believe that the attribution of electoral registration is the responsibility of the Judiciary, and interference in the will of young people by digital influencers should not be admitted. In addition, in addition to an implicit message for these young people to vote for certain candidates, the strategy can be a way to seek votes for Lula: polls show the PT with almost twice as many votes among young people from 16 to 24 years in relation to Bolsonaro. The difference decreases with age.

Movement linked to the PSOL among the organizers

Who runs the Olha o Barulhinho campaign — whose name is a reference to the sound emitted by the electronic ballot box after the vote — it is the marketing company Quid, which has little information on the internet, in addition to what is on the website itself.

Among Quid’s partners are Pedro Telles , co-founder of Bancada Ativista, a movement linked to the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) dedicated to electing left-wing activists to the legislature in São Paulo. According to information from the Advocacy Hub website, of which Telles is an adviser, he currently heads the cabinet of the bench, called “Mandata” after the elections of 2018.

The company also includes journalist Ana Freitas; activist Caio Tendolini, executive director of Quid and also linked to the Bancada Ativista; and Ricardo Borges Martins, social scientist from the University of São Paulo (USP) and Master in Social Influence from the Université d’Aix-Marseille. In addition, people who worked in the electoral campaign consultancy for Fernando Haddad (PT) and in the PSOL Activist Banquet work for the company.

There is no mention of Quid on the campaign website ‘Olha o Barulhinho’, but in an interview with the Ecoa section of Portal UOL, Caio Tendolini said he was its creator. In this interview, Quid is mentioned for having carried out a survey explaining the reasons for the abstention of teenagers in the elections, but it is not mentioned that Quid was running the campaign.

Screenwriter Marcel Izidoro, who is also columnist for Ecoa UOL, said in this interview that he was one of the articulators of the campaign. We contacted Izidoro, who confirmed having participated in the creation of the Olha o Barulhinho strategy, but denied having received payment. Izidoro did not want to tell us who ran the campaign.

We contacted the administrator of the Whatsapp group of “Olha o Barulhinho”. We requested information about the project and we were given the email of journalist Clarissa Beretz, who would be in charge of the communication of the project.

Beretz works for the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IIEB), Environmental NGO that manages the Amazon Fund. The fund was created in 2008 to raise billionaire resources, which come mainly from the Norwegian and German governments, for the preservation of the Amazon.

The fund , of almost R$ 3 billion, is currently frozen by the Bolsonaro government after it reformulated the management of resources and established new criteria for its application. Thus, decisions that were previously in the hands of NGOs, such as IIEB, which acted as an umbrella NGO transferring resources to other smaller institutions, pass to the Brazilian Executive.

The first publication of ‘Olha Barulhinho’ on Instagram got few likes, but among these likes was the IIEB profile.

More campaigns

Another campaign published by Di Caprio is Cada Voto Conta, an initiative of NOSSAS, a non-profit organization that develops social mobilization campaigns with the aim of strengthening “democracy, social justice and equality”. Although NOSSAS is not openly partisan, all the causes it promotes are left-wing.

NOSSAS, which owns the platform used by Sleeping Giants

— a group that persecutes activists and newspapers not aligned with their ideologies and tries to demonetize them — is funded by billionaire groups such as the Open Society, OAK Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Tinker Foundation, Malala Fund, Avon Institute and among others.

The action ‘Cada Voto Conta’ provides for the delivery of prizes as an incentive for young people to vote in the next elections. Whoever could convince more young people to take out voting cards could win everything from iPhone cell phones to Kindle e-readers. According to the website, older people cannot compete for awards.

The ‘Your Vote Matters’ campaign, which was supported by Quid, is sponsored by Girl UP, a feminist organization focused on teenage girls known in Brazil for promoting the campaign — in which NOSSAS also participated — to distribute “free pads” in schools.

Girl UP was created by the United Nations Foundation (UN), an international organization based in the United States, a strategic partner of the UN. In addition to the US government, the UN receives funding from Jhonson & Jhonson — one of the largest manufacturers of sanitary pads in the world —, the Bill & Melinda Foundation, Nike Foundation, Royal Dutch Shell and also Disney.

Na last Friday (29), the Sleeping Giants Twitter account released an event in which Girl UP, in partnership with Greenpeace, would be distributing vegan ice creams for young people between 16 and

years that they were going to take voter registrations on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo. “It’s hot? How about a free ice cream flavored with democracy?”, called the text, with an initiative similar to that of the Burguer King chain, which offered a discount for those who presented the voter registration card at the time of purchase.

Judiciary Power

For Adriana Farias, Regional Attorney of the Republic, Master in Law and postgraduate in Electoral Law, electoral enlistment, mandatory or optional, is part of the electoral process and is subject to to all the principles and rules inherent to it. She explains that this is a permanent administrative activity of the Electoral Justice since the Code of 1932, when, in search of the “electoral truth”, the control of voter registration was withdrawn from political power.

Adriana highlights that currently, the free expression of will to enlist is protected against inducement “with violation of any provision of the Electoral Code”, characterizing even conduct typified as a crime (Art. 290, CE).

“You have to be very careful when you choose to run a campaign to influence young voters to register and vote, especially when this activity is given to digital influencers, international organizations and civil society, which can lead their followers to vote or not to vote for a certain candidate (as Anitta says), or to take a stand against it in public debate (like this song lyric, which cites a right-wing war It is against the left)”, he says.

Therefore, says Adriana, the free formation of the will of the young voter to enlist and exercise the faculty of voting must always be protected from the undue influence of power political, economic or other abuses, because a campaign like this, however well intentioned, can escape the control of its sponsor – the TSE, mainly because they are teenagers, who have a naivety, typical of their age group. .

“Citizenship is one of the foundations of the Republic and every young person has the condition of citizen and their citizenship deserves total respect, both by the State and by other citizens. Enlisting is a citizen’s option between 17 and 29 years, your right, as well as choosing whether to vote or not. Citizenship should not be confused with political rights”, he says.

Votes for Lula

For the writer and political analyst Flavio Morgenstern, the growing disinterest of the young people in politics — in March, Brazil reached the lowest number of teenagers with a voter registration in history, according to data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) —, it may be in part a reflux of the wave of protests in 2013, which until today would not have ended perfectly.

For Morgenstern, celebrities have realized that young people today are no longer “brainless revolutionaries” and are more like people already tired of speeches repetitive ideologies. “If speeches get tired, better change who says it. No longer professors or bureaucrats, but celebrities saying the same thing and asking for votes for the left”, he says.

Morgenstern believes that the bet of asking for votes from young people – who hardly have historical knowledge and know the that was Mensalão — it’s an old tactic and that in this age group, in which young people listen to teachers more than their parents, it’s easy to have more votes for someone like Lula.

“It remains to be seen if the same musty speech will convince someone. Some of the celebrities chosen in Brazil for a pro-Lula show only released relevant music in 1992, when Senna was alive, Brazil was tri and our currency was the cruzeiro. Difficult to believe in tactics”, he said.

What those involved say

Quid informed that it is part of a set of initiatives, between companies, agencies, non-governmental organizations and influencers, working to encourage the participation of young people from 17 and

years in the elections of 2022. And that the “Olha o Barulhinho” campaign was created and financed by Quid, but due to institutional policy, campaign values ​​would not be disclosed.

“Today there is a growing trend of electoral abstention in Brazil, which is especially worrying among younger voters, and encouraging voting is important for the strengthening of any democracy”, he explained about his motivations.

Quid also reported that Pedro Telles is one of the founders of Quid, but left the team in February of this year, before the start of the campaign. However, Telles is still listed as managing partner of the company Comunicação em Rede LTDA on the Federal Revenue website. In addition, Quid informs that there is no financial or organizational participation of the Bancada Ativista and the IIEB.

“We hired Clarissa Beretz individually as a freelance professional for press office work”, he concluded.

Up to the publication of this report, NOSSAS, Girl UP, IIEB, Kondzilla and Atlas das Juventudes did not respond to our contacts.

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