Twenty-two-year-old Jair Renan Bolsonaro, the fourth of President Jair Bolsonaro’s five children, has tested positive for Covid-19. He reportedly has mild symptoms, experiencing a loss of smell. The president’s office has yet to comment.
Back in April, Jair Renan was banned from popular video game streaming service Twitch after encouraging gamers to break social isolation and engaging in Covid-19 denialism.
“Go to the streets, o.k.? What pandemic? This is a media invention to lock you inside your home, so you’ll think the world is crumbling. It’s just a little flu, brother,” Jair Renan told viewers during a live streaming session. He added that he would rather die having sex than coughing, before receiving a life ban, according to a post on his Twitter feed.
Jair Renan used to hold live streaming sessions of “League of Legends,” arguably the most popular esports game in Brazil. His Twitch channel had over 50,000 followers before his banning. His streaming content included frequent allusions to his father’s nickname “mito” (legend, in English) and to shooting members of the Workers’ Party.
Why it matters
While the banning of a 22-year-old gamer from a video-streaming platform might seem unimportant, streaming platforms have become crucial for the far-right (not only in Brazil) to disseminate extreme ideas. “The far-right has managed to create a propaganda machine associating its ideology to ‘neutral’ subjects, such as animes, make up, or games.
Not directly, but using these networks’ ecosystems,” wrote anthropologist Orlando Calheiros. “Basically, through propaganda and sponsoring certain ‘influencers,’ [the far-right] managed to skew the algorithm. People that would go on YouTube to get gaming content would eventually be directed to far-right channels — and get far-right ads.”
- Go deeper: Youngest Bolsonaro son a chip off the old block.