Brazil’s Congresso Em Foco’s ‘Trending Botics’ Monitors Political Bots
The initiative, created by FCB Brasil, will reveal artificial political engagement through the end of the Brazilian elections
Nearly 20% of all political discussions on social networks are influenced by internet bots, according to a study by FGV/DAPP. These programs, known as “bots,” pretend to be real users and interact massively with the tweets they’re programmed to find, creating artificial political engagement. This manipulation of the political debate is a threat to democracy and to the 2018 elections. In face of this threat, FCB Brasil and Congresso em Foco are launching Trending Botics.
Trending Botics is a political bot activity monitor. Through an online platform, users will be able to track and compare, on a daily basis, the political issues influenced by these bots, which drive certain topics to reach an ever-greater audience and gain relevance.
“These bots represent the use of artificial intelligence to promote ignorance. We want people to be able to monitor the behaviour of these bots and the increase or decrease in their numbers during the greatest political discussions in the country, such as debates, interviews, poll results and many others,” says Joanna Monteiro, CCO of FCB Brasil.
The bots are capable of turning a specific issue into a trend, spreading rumours and even being used as an important political weapon. The use of bots to influence discussions was proven both in the 2014 elections in Brazil and in the 2016 elections in the U.S. The idea behind Trending Botics is to show whether a specific topic has gained importance due to the interference of bots, in addition to promoting access to an impartial viewpoint on each topic, which will be ensured by Congresso em Foco.
For the website’s founder, Sylvio Costa, monitoring bot activity will shed light on a subject that remains obscure to most social network users. “We want to warn people on social networks about the risks of political debate manipulation, and show which candidates are benefiting the most from this activity, which, like fake news, corrupts the electoral process,” he says.
Congresso em Foco is a journalistic outlet that provides nonpartisan coverage of the National Congress and the most important political facts in the country, in order to help readers and voters keep track of the performance of elected officials. Its audience and influence have grown rapidly and consistently since it was launched in 2004. According to Google Analytics, it was visited over 23.6 million times in 2017. Winner of the Exxon Award for Best Contribution to the Press in 2009, the website boasts numerous exclusives and is often cited in other media, including some of the most important news outlets in the country and abroad.
Trending Botics will monitor bot activity through the end of the current elections.
Advertiser:Congresso em Foco
Creative Agency:FCB Brasil
Executive Creative Director:Fabio Simões “Simon”
Chief Creative Officer:Joanna Monteiro
Technology:Marcelo Arteiro and Emerson Queiroz
Creative Directors:Marco Monteiro and André Pallu
Client Approval:Sylvio Costa, Edson Sardinha
Client Services:Elton Longhi, Anna Sant’Anna, Rafael Cardoso, Karoline Araújo
Project Management:Suelen Mariano
creative:Antonia Zobaran, André Vervloet, Bruno Castellotti, Leonardo Marçal
Creative:Antonia Zobaran, André Vervloet, Bruno Castellotti, Leonardo Marçal
Art Assistant:Pevê Azevedo