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LINE OF RESEARCH 
ENVIRONMENT AND 
CLIMATE CHANGE

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The Brazilian political and social scenario is a fertile ground for spreading false information on socio-environmental issues. Linked to this, the population's waning trust in traditional media is driven by a systematically produced wave of disinformation. This rupture threatens, among other things, the dialogue needed to overcome the challenges of the climate emergency. Our objective is to map and analyze the Brazilian media ecosystem in the digital environment, seeking to interpret the main forms of attack on socio-environmental guidelines.

 

The digital ecosystem reflects an overvaluing of economic productivity, in which agribusiness is part of a developmental political discourse, proposed as a central solution to Brazil's socio-environmental problems. Meanwhile, the impact of fires, forest devastation, destruction of biomes, violence against indigenous peoples and the impact of mining on Indigenous Lands are ignored. On networks, automated accounts and other computational propaganda strategies are commonly used to boost the visibility of anti-environmentalist agendas. Thus, there is a prominence of conspiratorial narratives that argue that climate change and the socio-environmental crisis are political manipulation strategies, putting at risk the country's sovereignty over its natural resources.


 

Through projects developed in this line of research, we seek to provide evidence and expand knowledge on the instrumentalization of platforms and media vehicles against socio-environmental guidelines. In addition, we have also investigated the actions of civil society in defense of the socio-environmental agenda, seeking to develop partnerships to inform the public debate on policies based on scientific studies.

 

PROJECTS IN THIS LINE OF RESEARCH

Media Coverage of Fire Seasons: Comparing Traditional Press and Junk News

Faced with records of deforestation and fires in the Amazon region, it is importnt to understand how these problems are portrayed by different communication vehicles. To that end, we analyze the coverage of traditional media and disinformation portals during fire seasons in the Brazilian Amazon.

Automated accounts, known as bots, are a key part of computational advertising campaigns and can influence the public debate on social media. In this study, we followed the performance of these accounts on Twitter during periods of intensification of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon. 

Automating the Fire Debate on Twitter: Bots as a Propaganda Tool and Influence Operations

Socioenvironmental infodemic: analysis of the debate in the digital media ecosystem in Brazil

In order to map the socio-environmental discussion, involving issues such as land use, indigenous peoples' rights and support for climate policies, we periodically analyze traditional press vehicles, junk news portals, local vehicles, social media platforms and messaging applications.

Media ecology in the Legal Amazon: typology of regional news portals

This project examines socio-environmental coverage by local media in the nine states of the Legal Amazon zone, exploring their relationship to the region and affiliation to media networks; their socio-environmental coverage; their adherence to practices that give credibility to journalism; and their place in the regional political economy.

The geopolitics of disinformation: international strategies of socio-environmental influence

With the war in Ukraine, the issue of importing Russian fertilizers was instrumentalized to favor environmental dismantling in Brazil and support mining on indigenous lands. In this project, we investigate the socio-environmental misinformation that articulates these international interests on online platforms.

Multiplatform socio-environmental disinformation campaigns: cross-site orchestration,chat apps and social media

Environmental disinformation is one of the central tennants of communications strategies that capitalize on the affordances of digital platforms to gain adherence and social relevance. In this project, we research the uses and impacts of this type of disinformation on online debates.

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