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"ALGORITHMS AND THE NEW POLITICAL ARENA: analysis of new technologies and their influence on the election of populist leaders"

Grant number: 22/03573-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:Rogerio Schlegel
Grantee:Wesley Lima dos Santos
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


The operationalization of social media is increasingly structuring in electoral campaigns. In this context, agents with little interest in maintaining stability in the political scenario have turned social media into an automated factory for the dissemination of false information. The project's main objective is to understand how social networks and their operationalization can collaborate with the election of populist representatives, understood both as a (digital) media apparatus and as a discursive (mobilization) mechanism and a (political) tactic for building hegemony. In order to investigate hypotheses in this field, the work will be structured on three main axes: the first is the analysis of the ways in which the algorithms operate, especially in their application to the campaign of the candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 elections and, as expected at this point, 2022. The main reason for choosing this axis is to investigate the specificities of the technical application of narratives in social networks in Brazil, as an emerging country, considering that most studies in the field focus on contexts such as the American and the European. The second axis will bring the discussion with different contemporary approaches to the crisis of democracy, with an emphasis on digital populism. This axis is related to the first one as there is a close relationship in the specialized literature between the so-called Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their potential risk to democratic regimes. Finally, the third and last axis will promote focus groups to collect information about the level of institutional trust of voters, use of social networks, digital literacy and practices related to information verification. The elaboration of scripts and bases for the technical preparation of the focus groups will take into account the database of ESEB - Brazilian Electoral Study, produced by CESOP - Center for Public Opinion Studies (UNICAMP). The inclusion of this method is intended to capture the perspective of the network user and fertilize the debate promoted in Brazilian studies in this field.

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