Bolsonaro Looks Away From Twitter, Facebook After Trump Ban
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, speaks during a press conference in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photographer: Andre Borges/Bloomberg)

Bolsonaro Looks Away From Twitter, Facebook After Trump Ban

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is urging his followers to pivot away from Twitter and Facebook after the popular social networks banished U.S. President Donald Trump from their platforms.

The far-right president on Tuesday invited his 6.6 million Twitter followers to subscribe to his channel on the messaging app Telegram Messenger LLP, a competitor to Facebook’s WhatsApp Inc.

Bolsonaro, who models his presidency on Trump’s, relies on a barrage of tweets and streaming live videos on Facebook to connect to his base. The push away from those outlets echoes a shift occurring in the U.S., where thousands of users are being purged from the sites for violating their terms of use after violent rioters overtook the Capitol last week.

Like their U.S. counterparts, Bolsonaro allies have accused tech companies of censorship and called on their legions of followers to migrate to outlets they say are more amenable to conservative voices. But the transition has so far been slow in this social-media loving nation.

As of Wednesday morning, Bolsonaro had garnered just over 137,000 followers on his Telegram channel.

On Saturday, in a post on Instagram, Bolsonaro invited his supporters to join Parler only hours before it was pulled from app stores and Inc. shut off its web services. The app had only been downloaded about half a million times in Brazil as of Monday, according to the mobile-app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, a senator, later changed his Twitter profile picture to an image of Trump and claimed that Parler was a “victim of the Big Tech cartel.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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