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The Role of Social Media during the Brazilian Protests of 2013

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In 2013, Brazil witnessed a turning point in the recent history of politics through the largest social movements since the military dictatorship. The purpose of this paper is to identify the role that social media played during this time. To this end, a review of frame theory and gatekeeping theory will be made and, using the definitions for these theories, analyze the messages and frames being done by O Globo, one of the most read newspapers in Brazil, and Twitter. This paper will explain the development of the protest, identifying the relationship between mass media and politics in Brazil in order to establish the connection between the government and the newspaper. The Vinegar Protests used of ‘alternative media’ to contradict the mainstream media’s framing in order to communicate the message created by a strong and unified public sphere. This research will show how a leaderless movement, unsupported by the mainstream media, used the social media to contradict the messages of the mainstream media in favor of the protest.
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