Bolsonaro politicians and influencers pointed to an increase in followers on their Twitter profiles and attributed the growth to the purchase of the platform by billionaire Elon Musk, claiming that they had been “censored” by the company’s guidelines.
Data from the website SocialBlade, which monitors the performance of users, confirmed the above-average growth of these profiles this Monday, 25th. There is, however, no official information from the platform about changes in its publication rules.
Former Tourism Minister Gilson Machado claimed to have gained a record number of followers on Monday, despite not having published any posts that day. SocialBlade shows that 6,754 new users came to its profile between yesterday and today, a number much higher than the average of the previous days, which revolved around 404 daily followers.
The same was reported by Mário Frias, former Secretary of Culture. He gained ten times more followers than the day before. There were 1,843 on Monday, compared to 140 on Sunday. Pre-candidate for federal deputy for São Paulo, he said he felt the “smell of freedom” on the platform after the acquisition by Elon Musk.
“Today my number of followers has grown again. Interestingly, I see that several right-wing accounts have also gained followers again. It seems that now the algorithm is unable to stop our reach. Imagine how much we lost during all this time!”, he published.
Seja por decisões judiciais ou violação das regras da plataforma, diversos perfis de personalidades ligadas ao presidente Jair Bolsonaro (PL) já foram suspensos do Twitter. Among them, blogger Allan dos Santos and federal deputy Daniel Silveira, who had their accounts removed by order of Minister Alexandre de Moraes, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
Elon Musk came to the direction of the social network with the promise of making criteria more flexible and expanding freedom of expression on the platform. In a publication shared by bolsonaristas, including Mário Frias, the billionaire says he hopes that even his “worst critics will remain on Twitter, because that is what freedom of expression means”.
The comedian Carioca, a supporter of President Bolsonaro, repeated the allegation of Gilson Machado and Mário Frias. “I hope this platform stops censoring people and taking away the right to expression. Elon Musk is a hope in the midst of the Bigs. May it serve as a lesson for others!”, he posted.
Humorous profile Joaquin Teixeira, also a Bolsonista, made publications in a celebratory tone saying he believed that it will now be easier to oppose the LGBT community on the platform. “I’ve never felt so free here,” he wrote. “Just yesterday I gained about 6,000 followers. It took months.”
The report questioned Twitter if there is in fact a relationship between the increase in followers and the purchase of the platform by Elon Musk, but there was no response until the publication of this article.