O Ministry of Health paid 79,577 reais in advertisements on bolonarista channels on YouTube, some of which were investigated on suspicion of disclosing fake news, between the end of 2019 and throughout 2020. The data, obtained by VEJA via the Access to Information Law (LAI ), appear in the folder breakdown of all ad insertions made through Google AdSense since January 2019, beginning of the president’s government Jair Bolsonaro – in 2021, the ministry did not carry out any campaign for ads on social networks.
In the list of channels that received the most public funding are O Giro de Notícias, which raised 13,119 reais from government advertisements; BR Notícias (11,708 reais); the Political Sheet (11,464 reais); and the Focus of Brazil (10 491 reais). The Brasil Sobre de Tudo channel was the champion in the number of ad insertions – there were 38 in the sum of all campaigns carried out by the Ministry of Health.
The channels O Giro de Notícias and Folha Poli are among the eleven that had their monetization suspended this year in an investigation opened by the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) on suspicion of disseminating fake news about electronic voting machines and the Brazilian electoral system, as shown SEE report published in September.
Among the channels that had their remuneration blocked by the TSE also appear Te Atualizei and Vlog do Lisboa (see table below).
The campaigns of the Ministry of Health that contributed to the fund of the Pocketnalist channels were about theoronaviruses, yellow fever, prevention of teenage pregnancy, World AIDS Day, permanent prevention of STIs (sexually transmitted infections), measles and influenza.
These sites are paid based on certain criteria, including the number of views. Some of these profiles, which basically disseminate news with a bias in favor of the Jair Bolsonaro government and the theses of pocketnarism, have more than one million subscribers, such as Giro de Notícias (1.26 million), Te Atualizei (1.47 million ) and Folha Politics (2.6 million).
When a Google AdSense user creates a campaign to serve ads, he doesn’t choose directly on which channels he wants the pieces to be displayed, but indicates filters so that a certain target audience is reached. According to the Ministry of Health, “the campaigns were programmed to impact platform users who fit into the applied segmentation and who eventually consume content made available there”.
“It is never requested that any of the campaigns of this Ministry of Health have their ads presented in one or another channel or specific site”, informs the folder.