The Use of Twitter During the 2013 Protests in Brazil: Mainstream Media at Stake

The Use of Twitter During the 2013 Protests in Brazil: Mainstream Media at Stake

Nina Fernandes dos Santos (Université Panthéon-Assas, France)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0377-5.ch011

Abstract

2013 was an important year for the Brazilian political life, as citizens took to the streets against the increase of public transport fare. The demonstrations revealed a widespread dissatisfaction with the Brazilian political system and the traditional media did not escape the criticisms. This chapter focuses on how discourses about mainstream media were articulated on Twitter during Brazilian protests. Our corpus has 6,580 tweets that directly mention 12 Brazilian mainstream media. The goal was to understand how these discourses were translated into the practice of using Twitter in this specific context which mixes the possibility of participation and expression in a digital and social environment and the context of protest. Results show that at the same time that the major media continue to be important elements guiding the political discussion in social networks, the speeches towards them are extremely critical. Although Globo is the main target, the tone is almost homogeneous between different media, which shows a general mistrust towards the communication system.
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Social Media And Protest Movements

The bibliography on the interactions between protests and social media is extensive and gained greater strength in the academic field since 2010 (Gomes, 2018). There is, however, a wide range of approaches to the issue, as well as the consequences of this process. And this is reflected in a variety of terms used to refer to this interaction. There are new terminologies such as connective actions (Bennet & Segerberg, 2012), cyber-conflict and digital activism (Karatzogianni & Schandorf, 2014), and net-activism (Di Felice, 2013), as well as proposals of reinterpretations of traditional sociological concepts such as collective actions (Bakardjeva, 2015) and social movement (Kavada, 2003).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hybrid media system: Concept proposed by chadwick (2013) that considers the ever-changing relationship between media and politics and integrates the roles played by old and new media focusing in their interactions.

Alternative Media: In this chapter we adopt a very broad definition of alternative media as a media that has dissident origins or approaches in regard to mainstream media.

Mainstream Media: Media of all types (printed, radio, television and web-based) that are structured around broadcast logics attaining a significant portion of the audience.

Social media: In this chapter, we adopt the definition as proposed by boyd and Elisson (2007). They consider social media web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Protest movements: Punctual political actions that may or not involve social movements and may take different forms, such as strikes, uprisings, riots, boycotts, sit-ins and demonstrations.

Mediactivism: Our approach to this concept is based on the proposition of Cardon and Granjon (2010) and defines mediactivism as social mobilizations that orient their collective action towards the criticism of the dominant media.

Media outlet: The company behind the production of a certain media.

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