Facebook Papers: Political Content Leads Fake News in Brazil


Facebook Papers: A survey carried out by Facebook with Brazilian users shows that political content posted on the social network is considered the main source of disinformation in the country. The survey data are in internal company documents obtained by Estadão and revealed this Tuesday (9).

According to information included in the Facebook Papers, 60% of Brazilians interviewed classified “political message content” as the largest vectors of fake news in Brazil. The study does not make clear what these political messages are, but suggests that they are posts made by political figures and their supporters.

Articles published on websites were also pointed out by participants in the survey, which covers other company platforms, as another major source of disinformation, being cited by 59% of them. Then come categories such as jokes (42%), advertising (32%), fake accounts (25%), fraud (23%) and spam (20%).

In relation to other services, the results are a little different. On WhatsApp, for example, most users pointed to website articles as the main means of distributing fake news, the same happening on Instagram. On Facebook Messenger, messages related to politics are back in the lead.

Different reality in other countries

In addition to Brazil, the survey released on an internal Facebook panel, in July 2020, brings data from another six countries: United States, India, United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia and Colombia. The objective of the company led by Mark Zuckerberg was to identify the negative experiences of users in these markets.

When comparing the results, the greater weight of political messages is a reality in the Brazilian scenario, according to the publication. In India, for example, one of Facebook’s biggest markets, this type of content was mentioned by 46% of respondents, while in the US the rate was 30%. Only Colombia registered a higher number: 66%.

In a statement sent to the newspaper, the social network said that the study results do not refer to the amount of a type of content posted on the platform or its prevalence. The company highlighted that the survey only shows the perception of users about the posts viewed.