This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
It was on a Monday, February 10, 2020, when Claudia Galhardi, a Fiocruz researcher who specialized in communication, attended a public hearing at the Brazilian Federal Senate on the occasion of the launch of Eu Fiscalizo, an app she had been working on. The idea was to create a tool that would allow "communication between society and academia,” explains Galhardi.
Although she was following virus contamination speed in Europe, the researcher did not imagine that the application would become such a powerful tool to understand the circulation of misinformation during the pandemic: "As of March 10th, 2020, we received a significant amount of notifications, questionings, about the Covid-19 pandemic," says the researcher.
In her analysis over a year and a half of the pandemic, Galhardi developed methodological tools to identify not only patterns in the dissemination of misinformation, but also what circulates on social networks and the affinity of the content with certain political agendas dear to President Bolsonaro.
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