News and events

In the media

The Conversation: How Jair Bolsonaro used ‘fake news’ to win power

Journalism and Digital Media 11 January 2019

Ed Bracho Polanco

Dr Ed Bracho-Polanco, Lecturer in Journalism and Media, wrote an article for The Conversation on how new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro used misinformation and ‘fake news’ as part of his presidential campaign.

In his article, Dr Bracho-Polanco explained how Bolsonaro heavily relied on social media, during his campaign, and more specifically on the platform WhatsApp which includes 120 million active users in Brazil.

Dr Bracho-Polanco particularly denounced the use and creation of hundreds of WhatsApp groups circulating misinforming and misleading content against Bolsonaro’s political rivals.

Concluding, he said: “Bolsonaro’s litany of racist, homophobic, sexist and xenophobic comments is long and well documented – and sadly, the president’s discourse of falsehood and his distribution of misinforming content via social media has not stopped with his election.

“Ironically, having promised during his inaugural speech to steer the country ‘without discrimination and division’, Bolsonaro followed this with a threat to cut government advertising funds to any outlet that he judged to have spread fake news about himself or his policies.”

Read the full article on The Conversation.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


For the media


For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.