How pro-Bolsonaro social media reacted to the president’s climbdown

social media bolsonaro
Photo: Tovovan/Shutterstock

Social media went into a frenzy yesterday after President Jair Bolsonaro published a statement to the Brazilian people apparently backpedaling from his radical attacks on the Supreme Court, proclaimed from the top of sound trucks during protests in Brasília and São Paulo during Tuesday’s protests.

The president’s statement claimed his words were said “in the heat of the moment” and that it was “never his intention to attack any of Brazil’s branches of government.” The statement in question was reportedly written with the help of former President Michel Temer, who Mr. Bolsonaro flew to Brasília to help stymie the bubbling institutional crisis.

While the president’s climbdown pleased the market, his words were not well received by many of his once-dedicated followers. Several pro-Bolsonaro influencers showed their dismay, claiming the president had been “swallowed up by the system.”

The Brazilian Report obtained access to a database aggregating posts shared on 30 highly active and relevant pro-Bolsonaro groups on messaging app Telegram. Our analysis showed that the initial reaction to the president’s statement was overwhelmingly negative among his supporters.

“[Jair Bolsonaro] is a cowardly chicken who is going to lose the fucking election in 2022, because he had the chance to remove the tyrants from power now, and he didn’t. Who ever heard of chatting with a criminal like [Michel] Temer? I’m very angry,” wrote one user.

However, as time passed, a large part of the president’s supporters began to see a form of sense in Mr. Bolsonaro’s actions, believing it is a plan to allow the president to follow his original plan.

“Guys, let’s believe [in the president], he needs the support of the people. He can see the enemies like no one else, he’s like an eagle. The communists need to think he’s crazy and stupid. Inviting Temer today is part of that strategy. I AM CERTAIN” wrote another user.