Algorithms and Disinformation: The role of YouTube in the Brazilian political scene

Reis, R., Zanetti, D., Frizzera, L. (2019) Algorithms and Disinformation: The role of YouTube in the Brazilian politics. Congresso da Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores em Comunicação e Política. Brasilia, Brazil.

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YouTube has been identified as a platform for the dissemination of conservative and reactionary ideas, in which an alternative system of influence is developed that favours the promotion of issues with a conservative bias and in opposition to the notions of social justice and human rights. From a survey of the top-ranked and most viewed videos on YouTube during the 2018 Brazil elections, the study points out the ways in which this platform worked in the national electoral political scene, the activity of the algorithms and the strategies of the actants – be they humans or robots. The study unveils the strong presence of the themes related to Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign and the predominance of the conservative speech that marked his trajectory to the presidency of Brazil. In this way, the study seeks to understand the impacts of YouTube’s video recommendation system, based on the premise that the results obtained for each search experience carried out in the platform derived from a singular way of behaviour and use of the platform and its users that results from the convergence between human and nonhuman action. 

Full paper available: fbclid=IwAR2BlbZ0StjKc5aFF8Jg-qVe1DkWPRTlqrHtBt5gYKgVCtOx2JsBUeTbJnM