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AGÊNCIA PÚBLICA
Founded in 2011 by women reporters, Agência Pública is the first non-profit investigative news agency in Brazil.
photo of a smartphone with Jair Bolsonaro's photo and youtube
Geopolitics
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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Picture of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Society
*David Nemer

Jair Bolsonaro, A Perfect Example Of Why Autocrats Hate Women

Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Jair Bolsonaro all share what seems a natural antipathy toward women — yet it is ultimately because they fear them. And with good reason: When women participate in political movements, they are more likely to succeed — which is bad news for authoritarianism.

-Analysis-

SÂO PAULO — In the first televised debate between the candidates for the Brazilian presidential elections, on August 28, the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro offered yet another demonstration of his misogyny. He was asked by journalist Vera Magalhães about the drop in vaccination coverage in the country and its connection to the misinformation about vaccines, which the president himself spread during the pandemic.

“Vera, I couldn’t expect anything else from you," he responded. "You sleep thinking about me, have some kind of passion for me. You can't take sides in a debate like this. You make lying accusations about me. You’re an embarrassment to Brazilian journalism.”

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Photo of Bolsonaro and Trump supporters in Brasilia, Brazil
Geopolitics
Alice Maciel

How The Trump Universe Is Backing Bolsonaro’s Reelection Bid In Brazil

Brazil’s Agência Pública reveals that Gettr, the social network run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has sponsored conservative conferences in Brazil ahead of October’s presidential elections, which Steve Bannon has called the most important in South American history.

Over the past year, the U.S. social network Gettr, run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has been sponsoring political events that support the re-election campaign of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president. The events have been organized by the Instituto Conservador Liberal (ICL), the think tank set up by congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, and Sérgio Sant'Ana, a lawyer and former adviser to the Ministry of Education.

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Photo from above of two boys playing soccer with a tennis ball
Society
Alice De Souza, Clarissa Levy, Mariama Correia, Diana Cariboni

Probe Finds Brazil's Religious Homeschooling Groups Encourage Corporal Punishment

As Brazil prepares to legalize homeschooling — a campaign promise that President Bolsonaro hopes to fulfill before October's elections — a disturbing investigation by openDemocracy and Agência Pública finds that Brazil's religious homeschooling groups, supported by ultraconservative U.S. associations, are giving parents instructions on how to spank their children while dodging the law.

Training dished out by Brazil’s homeschooling industry is encouraging parents to spank their children “calmly and patiently” as a teaching tool, a disturbing investigation by openDemocracy and Agência Pública has found.

Books, websites and videos seen by our journalists give parents tips on how to spank children and dodge the law — by avoiding major injuries, visible marks and public humiliation. They also say parents who do not punish their children with “the rod” do not love God or their children.

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