Violence in Rio de Janeiro sparks online debate
This year, FGV’s Department of Public Policy Analysis (DAPP) started a series of publications that breaks down debate on social networks regarding relevant public safety issues. The goal is to use social network monitoring to gauge popular perception regarding the events, generating additional data that is not necessarily in official records and that, due to its dynamics of temporality, can help public agents plan articulated actions across different instances.
A total of four surveys were carried out last month. The latest recorded a volume of 2,600 posts, including tweets and retweets, regarding the confrontation between law enforcement and criminals at Complexo da Maré on Tuesday, February 7. During the period of greatest volume of mentions, the debate kept an average of 154 tweets, addressing the closure of expressways and the death of a child shot during confrontations.
Another survey pointed out that disturbances in Rio’s roads caused by confrontations mobilized more than 4,000 mentions on Twitter. A total of four mention peaks were identified between 12 p.m. on January 24 and 11 a.m. on February 1. Three of these peaks coincide with shootings that closed Linha Amarela and the other relates to the shooting at Rocinha, which led the Lagoa-Barra road to be closed off.
DAPP also analyzed online mobilization after the shooting at Tijuca that caused the death of a person. This debate has reached an average of 17 posts per minute at its peak, primarily involving the keywords ‘shooting’ and ‘block’, which appeared in 50% (600 mentions) and 49% (almost 600 mentions) of the posts, respectively.
During all episodes, there were frequent mentions about the wish for peace and discontent with the impairment of the right to freely come and go. This debate on social networks allows us to identify the feeling of insecurity generated from events involving shootings due to clashes between criminal factions or due to police operations, and how its aftermath affects the routine of Rio’s population.
The complete survey is available on the website.