Opinion – Lúcia Guimarães: Recreational indignation is an ally of the trolls of misinformation


A consultation on social media, last Saturday (13), suggested that Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Dubai was dominated by shrimp. Good news for Brazilian fish exporters?

No, it was just a variation on the Bolsonaros’ favorite exported product, as defined by son 03’s mentor. Steve Bannon, the indicted criminal who must roll with laughter at the dazzled parliamentarian’s credulity, explained his method in 2019: “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the shit zone.”

The president and his children adhere to the recommendation. The media, followed by the elite that maintain links with reality, increase the speed of the shit fan.

Thus, the weekend was wasted with recreational indignation over the 03 tweet criticizing the dried shrimp in a dish by actor Wagner Moura. Attention to the trip to the Middle East was successfully diluted by the lures of eschatology or nonsense offered by the clan.

Recreational indignation is not the left’s monopoly, but it seems more inclined to devour its own. How to explain the explosion of digital fury against the columnist for sheet Gustavo Alonso for the text published hours after Marília Mendonça’s death? So many posts were written by people who read not the text but angry tweets. The bile level was more in line with the suspicion that the columnist sabotaged the singer’s plane engine than with what he wrote. The energy devoted to destroying it is great ammunition for the far right that poisons our culture.

Ubertroll Steve Bannon knows exactly what he’s doing. He may have been in trouble with the law, but he’s busy fueling the political fire. Bannon broadcast live his surrender to the FBI on Monday (15), in a spectacle to discredit the criminal case.

The fragile American democracy will not be protected by the criminal justice. Nor the Brazilian. Freedom of expression alone will not be enough to face obscurantism if the digital model is based on privileging disinformation and extremism. In addition to facing the oligopolies of the social network, it is necessary to increase cognitive immunity so that we are not consumed by a tweet about dry shrimp.

Trolls are not ships passing in the digital night. Entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has just closed a partnership to provide internet to Brazil, behaves in public like a drunk in a bar. The richest man in the world directed his humiliation to two US senators who criticized his resistance to paying taxes. Musk said he had forgotten Bernie Sanders was alive and asked Ron Wyden why he looks like he just had an orgasm.

Three years ago, we asked angrily: How was it possible for smart people in our circle of friends or relatives to delude themselves in 2018? We ask the wrong question. A high intelligence quotient can easily become an ally when rationalizing the indefensible. We live in the trap of diversionary tactics in an epistemic war where the enemy is the reality. The goal of Bolsonaro’s trolls is not ideological persuasion, it is to disorient their critics.

If Bolsonaro is defeated at the polls, nothing changes in the parallel reality ecosystem that he nurtured and used as a weapon to rule. It is an asymmetric struggle, because one side does not accept facts and considers violence a legitimate resource to capture power.


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