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Monday, January 25, 2021

Brazil President Bolsonaro eyes alternative to Twitter, Facebook after Trump ban

He 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.

By: Bloomberg | January 13, 2021 11:02:59 am
Bolsonaro 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. (Reuters Photo)

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, has found great success in leveraging social media networks by offering regular tweets and streaming live videos on Facebook to his fans.

His encouragement of a shift away from those outlets presents a significant change that echoes a shift occurring in the U.S., where thousands of far-right users are being purged from the sites and regrouping in lesser-known networks like Telegram and Parler.

On Saturday, in a post on Instagram, Bolsonaro invited people to join Parler only hours before it was pulled from app stores and Amazon.com 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.”

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