Ever since Barack Obama completed his amazing journey from the Illinois State Senate to the White House in 12 years by tapping into the power of social media, political pundits have said that the upcoming election “will be the social media election in Brazil.” They said it in 2010, when members of Obama’s 2008 campaign were hired by Dilma Rousseff, and in 2014, when bots first made an appearance in trying to tamper with debates on social media.
TV and radio, though, played a larger role in the 2010 and 2014 presidential races. After all, 97.2 percent of Brazilian homes are equipped with a TV set, while 36.4 percent of homes still don’t have a fixed-broadband connection. But the prophecy could finally be fulfilled in 2018, ten years after the first Obama campaign. As a matter of fact, social media is already setting the tone of the presidential race.