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Floods in Rio Grande do Sul: an analysis of multiplatform disinformation on the climate disaster

Heavy rains in Rio Grande do Sul began on April 27th and gained strength on April 29th. The large volume of water has affected more than 400 cities, mainly in the regions of Vale do Rio Pardo and Vale do Taquari and in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre. This is the biggest climate disaster in the history of RS. The tragedy is also the fourth to hit the state in less than a year.

Even under a state of public disaster, investigative reports and fact-checking initiatives have pointed to the wide circulation of disinformative content. Such content hinders assistance efforts for the population affected by the floods and is used by individuals who seek to profit from the tragedy, as well as obtain engagement or political support.

Climate misinformation spread online has become a major driver of the tragedy, influencing national politics.

Similar cases of fraud have occurred in other tragedies and the main factor is the lack of rules for the online environment. Platforms are partly responsible for the lack of transparency, as when asked to remove suspicious advertisements, they do not make the information on those responsible for placing the adds available to the authorities.

In addition, there is also the issue of international companies that allow the registration of anonymous websites used as platforms for fraud.

The objective of this report is to analyze disinformation involving the climate emergency in Rio Grande do Sul in publications on social media, as well as fraud and scams in Meta Ads ads.

Read the report

Enchentes no RS - Uma análise da desinformação multiplataforma sobre o desastre climático
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