Datafolha Survey shows that 51% of Brazilians using WhatsApp have stopped commenting or sharing some political content to avoid quarreling with family or friends.
Self-censorship is higher among civil servants (61%) and people with higher education (59%). Housewives, in turn, care less: 60% did not stop talking for fear of misunderstanding.
One in four (27%) people left a group not to argue, and 19% stopped following or blocking their friend, family, or business profile for disagreeing with political positions.
Regarding the role of social networks, 77% of the total respondents believe that they help to give voice to groups normally neglected by society. The majority (59%) estimate that they serve more to spread false news than to inform.
For half of Brazilians, new media play an important role in politics: 54% think they are important in making politicians aware of social discussions, and 48% believe they are important in creating movements that can act directly in society.
Datafolha interviewed 2,948 people in the last 5 and 6 days in 176 cities. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points. The answers refer to behaviors adopted from December 2018 to December 2019, among those who have an account in social networks.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon