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“Satanist Jair Maçonaro”: how PT members create fake news to attract evangelical votes

This Tuesday (4), publications on social networks with videos and images associated with President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who is running for reelection and guaranteed a spot in the second round, with Freemasonry and Satanism. The videos used are from a visit made by Bolsonaro, in 500, to a Masonic lodge not yet identified. In addition, several manipulated photos were released with Bolsonaro next to an image in the background of a creature from Satanist mythology.

Although these are false associations and accusations, something attested even by checking agencies, the content went viral and reached Twitter Trending Topics, being one of the most searched on Google Trends on Tuesday (4). The viralization occurred mainly through publications of suspect white-plate blogs, militant journalists and even major newspapers, which published the content without criteria. To further disseminate the content, fake profiles of repentant Bolsonaristas were created.

The PT initiative — which can be a shot in the foot, as the president of the Superior Electoral Court, Minister Alexandre de Moraes, said , on June 1, that politicians who intentionally spread fraudulent news to influence the electoral process would have their registration revoked — it occurs at a decisive electoral moment for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, presidential candidate for the Workers’ Party (PT). Although he took first place in the first round, with about 5.2% more votes than Bolsonaro, the strong adherence of the evangelical electorate to Bolsonaro, who presents himself as a Catholic and defender of Christian values, and has a strong connection with leaders protesters, is a major threat to the PT campaign.

According to research carried out by Poder Data, between 24 from July to August 2, 08398, Bolsonaro had 62% of voting intentions among evangelicals in the 1st round, against 22% from Lula. (The PoderData survey, contracted by the Poder website500, carried out 3.500 interviews in 200 municipalities in 31 ) units of the Federation. Data were collected from 31 from July to August 2, 2022, through calls to cell phones and landlines. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. The confidence interval is 90% Registration with the TSE is BR-08398/2022).

Pop blogs engaged

One of the first vehicles to publish about Bolsonaro’s association with Freemasonry is PopTime, a portal dedicated to the world of “pop artists” , but who suddenly, in recent months, became military in favor of Lula. On its website and social networks, Pop Time published that Lula created the “Religious Freedom Law, the Evangelical Day and the March for Jesus Law. While Bolsonaro, who calls himself a Christian, asked for votes in Freemasonry and took pictures next to Baphomet. The publication on Twitter reached more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares.

Although there is no name on the website of the owner or authors in the texts, in the declaration of ownership of its Facebook page it is revealed the name of José Luiz Santos Guimaraes, 21, who presents himself on social networks as designer and journalist under the name “Hey Lugui”. In the hours that followed the publication, Guimarães – who on Facebook declared his support for Haddad in the last election and today has his personal profile suspended on Twitter due to violations of the rules of the social network – published on his instagram a story commemorating the record broken by his Twitter page, which would have gotten more than 10 million views on his profile , an increase of 95% since the last month, according to the result of Twitter Analytics, a tool that analyzes social network metrics. “It’s great to know that we are one of the biggest bridges for voters, especially young people, in these elections,” he wrote in the caption.

In a Facebook post, the day before the first round vote, the PopTime page urged to bring votes for Lula: “Datafolha and Ipec claim that Lula will win the elections in the first round and will become the new President of the Republic tomorrow! It’s time to turn your vote, we can’t let Bolsonaro spend another month campaigning dirty.”

Another Twitter post that went viral, reaching around a thousand likes and more than 77 a thousand retweets, about Bolsonaro’s connection with the Freemasonry, is that of the Pop Onze portal, which shared a video, originally published by a profile created just three months ago, stating that this was a “leak”.

Pop Onze recalled in the text that the involvement with Freemasonry is prohibited by the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church and stated that several Bolsonaro supporters – such as federal deputy Carla Zambelli (PL-SP) and senator Jorginho Mello (PL-SC) – would be members of the institution. Hours later they had to correct themselves by explaining that Zambelli does not participate, because women are not accepted in Freemasonry. Identical posts also went viral on the blogs Choquei, which is verified by Twitter, and the POP QG, both with a similar theme to the previous ones.

Viralization strategy

An even earlier publication, made at 8 am, and identical to those made by the blogs that went viral, even with the same caption, was released in a community on Telegram called Boca de Lobo. The channel, which has almost six thousand subscribers, presents itself as a “movement of activists who generate counter-narratives and transform the poison of fake news into antidotes in favor of democracy”.

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This Tuesday (04 ), Boca de Lobo published a series of images and videos, for mass dissemination on WhatsApp and Facebook groups, which mocked Bolsonaro’s participation in Freemasonry and his connection with Satanism. The images brought several memes and jokes with the term “maçonaro”, a combination of the terms Bolsonaro and Freemasonry, and images of Bolsonaro with satanic symbols.

One of the publications made by the channel was that of a video of a lecture by Lula, in which he compared himself to Bolsonaro in terms of religiosity and used the same arguments published by the website Pop Time. In the description of the video, the channel Boca de Lobo confessed that this was the “antidote against much of the fake news that are going viral on the part of Bolsonaristas. And the video of Freemasonry too! another publication on the channel, made at 22h47, Boca de Lobo celebrated that the term Freemasonry would have become, this Tuesday, the fourth largest search made on Google, according to the Google Trends tool. , and that the terms “bolsonaro satanista”, “download twitter video” and “video of bolsonaro in Freemasonry” would also be at the top.

Boca de Lobo also published videos of campaign by Lula and André Janones (federal deputy elected by Minas Gerais), according to the channel, at their request, to have them spread. The first video was a campaign piece by Lula with several testimonies from alleged Christian voters praising the PT criticizing Bolsonaro, calling him of non-Christian. The second video was a recording made by Janones, which brought the Temple of Solomon of the Universal Church in the background, stating that in the “leaked” videos Bolsonaro would participate in satanic rituals.

“It is not possible to walk with Freemasonry, I regret that President Bolsonaro made this pact, yielded to these goat practices, of blood, negotiated on behalf of his own voters to make this pact for victory”, says Janones in the video.

The channel has a Twitter account, where the videos were also published, and is followed by several leftist politicians and activists, including Lula and federal deputy Bohn Gass (PT-RS). In addition, several journalists from vehicles such as Globo News, UOL and Folha are also present.

Another personality who effusively shared this fake news was blogger and screenwriter Bic Müller, who in one of the publications brought the images of Bolsonaro in Freemasonry and Lula receiving the Pope’s blessing, with a background written “very serious”, an image identical to the one published by the blogger Babi Magalhães. In the caption of the publication, which reached more than 120 a thousand likes and almost 2014 thousand shares, Bic wrote: “this one is for sitting on the zap”.

The intention of making the accusations viral as a political weapon , despite the falsity of the content, in order for the evangelical voter to be attracted to Lula, it is also explicit in other comments by left-wing activists, such as Thiago dos Reis, owner of the website Plantão Brasil, which has more than one million followers on Facebook and is intended to attack Bolsonaro and defend Lula. In addition to publishing Bolsonaro’s manipulated image alongside figures associated with Satanism, he also urged his followers to share and “up” the hashtags: “Bolsonaro é satanista” and “Ciro é Lula”. Thiago is a well-known PT activist, disseminator of fake news, such as that Bolsonaro was being investigated by the Federal Public Ministry for using dirty money in his electoral campaign, a statement refuted by check agencies.

Another that disseminated the content on Twitter, the architect Alexandre Costa stated in a tweet that, even if Freemasonry has nothing to do with Satan, that would not be what he would say to his family. “I will say that they are voting for a man who has a direct connection with the devil and what Jesus must be thinking about that”, he wrote.

“Repentant” Bolsonaristas

In addition to the virality, it was reported by journalistic vehicles, including Folha de S. Paulo, that Bolsonaro voters would have “went into a tailspin” with the revelation that he is a Freemason and a Satanist. The proof would be comments from repentant Bolsonaristas, who would have supported the president so far and voted for him in these elections, but would be migrating their votes to Lula.

One of the most publicized comments is that of Viviane Loiseau, an alleged ex-bolsonarista who in a tweet said she was betrayed by Bolsonaro after discovering her ties with Freemasonry and who, therefore, would vote for the “nine fingers” in the second round. By early this afternoon, the publication had already reached 31 a thousand shares and almost 90 thousand likes.

Viviane’s profile, however, is false. In addition to the fact that a person with that name does not exist in Brazil — in the account she informed that she lived in the city of Penha (SC) — according to an analysis carried out by Ricardo Caires, a professional specializing in audiovisual judicial expertise, made at the request of Gazeta do Povo, in the image used as profile picture, there are several “manipulation edit points” in various places on the face and signs that it was created by an Artificial Intelligence.

Although Viviane’s profile was later deleted from social networks, several other comments by supposedly repentant Bolsonaristas continue to circulate. Some do not even need expertise, as they bring a rough manipulation of profile images with pop singers “Anitta” and “Lana Del Rey”.

Other profiles are of real people, but that only changed their photos and their “bio” to look like bolsonaristas, like the profile @lidiannemaria, which, pretending to be a repentant voter, made more than a dozen publications related to Freemasonry this Tuesday, and in one of them said: “I am feeling betrayed, this is against our Christian values, he wants to take advantage of Christians (sic) when he is the devil, I’m going to put it in my church group unfortunately.” But Lidianne, since the beginning of the elections, has made several publications with pro militancy -Lula and against Bolsonaro.

Publications made in the Pandlr Forum, a community dedicated to the LGBT public that has already received several accusations of racism, indicate that this was one of the first and one of the biggest disseminators of these rumors and, mainly, the creation of fake profiles of repentant bolsonaristas. In several posts made in the forum n its members plan how to make fake news more believable. In one of them, the user “Scotty” says: “I have contacts in the PT, I will hire the PAN guerrillas”.

Reação

The pastor Silas Malafaia, leader of the Vitória em Cristo Assembly of God, released this Tuesday a video, addressed to evangelicals, in defense of the reelection of Jair Bolsonaro. The pastor, who is one of the president’s biggest supporters in the Protestant milieu, said in the video that the PT members, by disseminating content from the past, were trying to manipulate evangelicals.

On his Twitter account, the Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is the president’s son, repudiated the rumors and said: “if this lie, that the left is shooting on the internet, were true, they would put it in their electoral propaganda on TV”, and the speech by Lula in favor of abortion, his statement calling pastors farofeiros and Lula’s friendship with Daniel Ortega, a dictator who has ordered the arrest of priests in Nicaragua .

“Even if Bolsonaro was a Freemason, it has nothing to do with this relationship between Freemasonry and the devil. D. Pedro I was a Freemason. José Bonifacio was a Freemason. If there is anything certain about Freemasonry, it is that it is necessary to be very honest to be accepted”, wrote the musician Roger Moreira, from Ultraje a Rigor.

André Janones already celebrated in his social networks the campaign success. According to him, five hours after his live commenting on Bolsonaro’s alleged “pact” with Freemasonry, his Facebook page hit the 1 million views mark. “Keep spreading! It’s war!”, he wrote.

This Tuesday, in the midst of these publications, Lula celebrated the day of Saint Francis of Assisi alongside Frei David, founder and director of the NGO Educação e Cidadania of Afrodescendants and Needy People (Educafro), an institution that processed, at the end of last year, the financial company XP in R$ millions for “moral and collective damages” because of “lack of diversity”. Frei David is also known for having threatened to fine and withdraw the scholarship of Educafro students who did not collect signatures for a Workers’ Party (PT) project, in 2014 , who sought political reform through an Exclusive Constituent, something that many consider to have been an attempted coup by the PT.

The PT candidate took the opportunity to snipe on his Facebook, stating that he is Christian and who has no pact nor has ever talked with the devil. On his Twitter, he posted: “For me, faith is something very sacred. I take my spirituality very seriously. I like to do things with a lot of truth inside me.”

What those involved say

In a note, deputy Carla Zambelli (PL) , stated that he already imagined that narrative wars would happen in the event of the second round, but that he was surprised to use photos of his wedding; although the deputy is Catholic, this took place in a Freemason temple and had her photos released to attack the president.

In addition, Zambelli highlights that, despite the images shared in the attacks being “ rough”, the press, which would have spent four years accusing the right of maintaining a supposed “hate office”, would have jumped on the bandwagon, producing reports with sensationalist titles, raising doubts in the “heads of a few naive people who only read the title

“There is a PT logic that is the complicity in the fraud that gives journalists and ‘experts’ the political authority to accuse without evidence. Many are agents who work to exercise the power of left through a news funnel. They control and manipulate information until they produce a mental tyranny. The victory of hundreds of Bolsonaro allies shows that the strategy is not working”, he says.

Even the At the time of this publication we have not received a response from Lula’s or Bolsonaro’s advisors.

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