“Made in China”

disinformation and Sinophobia on Facebook during the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil





covid-19, Facebook, sinophobia, disinformation.


In this study, we analyze Facebook posts to explore the role of disinformation and Sinophobia in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. Although Sinophobic discourse is not new, it has been frequently associated with disinformation about Covid-19 in the country (Recuero; Soares, 2022). After collecting posts related to China from public groups on Facebook, we used Social Network Analysis to explore the networks and further analyze the most posted links. Connected Concept Analysis (CCA – Lindgren, 2016) was employed to examine the Facebook posts containing links that were posted at least 10 times from each cluster (n= 2,302 posts) and a qualitative deep reading was performed in order to make sense of the connections identified in the CCA. We identified three trends in the pro-Bolsonaro cluster: (1) blaming China for the pandemic, (2) reproducing conspiracy theories about China intentionally creating the virus, and (3) reinforcing a political framing of the pandemic (created by Communists). Sinophobic discourse was used to reinforce these claims. In addition to posts with overt Sinophobic discourse, other posts contained covert Sinophobia when blaming China for the pandemic.


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Biografia do Autor

Elisa Marchioro Stumpf, UFRGS

Professora adjunta de Língua Inglesa da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Letras da Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Brasil). Doutora em Estudos da Linguagem pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.

Taiane de Oliveira Volcan, Universidade Federal de Pelotas

Pós-doutoranda no programa de pós-graduação em Letras da Universidade Federal de Pelotas e coordenadora do Laboratório MIDIARS (Laboratório de Pesquisa em Mídia, Discurso e Análise de Redes). Tem doutorado em Letras pela Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel).

Felipe Bonow Soares, University of the Arts London

Senior Lecturer em Comunicação e Mídia no London College of Communication na University of the Arts London e colaborador no Grupo de Pesquisa em Mídia, Discurso e Análise de Redes Sociais - MIDIARS. Tem doutorado em Comunicação e Informação na Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).


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