Political Elites, Misinformation, and Mobilisation: Evidence from Brazil

Misinformation is a growing concern among the public and political elites. Yet we still lack a good understanding of the political effects of misinformation. We argue that misinformation contains politically motivated content that sends unambiguous signals in favor or against a political group, thus increasing the salience of political identities and making individuals more oriented towards political and partisan goals. Consequently, disseminating misinformation benefits politicians because this type of story is effective at mobilizing voters. We empirically test this argument using novel descriptive and experimental data from Brazil. We show that politicians' posts that contain misinformation have higher levels of seemingly positive interactions with social media users in Brazil. Furthermore, respondents who are exposed to misinformation show a lower willingness to participate in campaign-related activities in favor of the target of the misinformation and have lower levels of affect regarding that target. Although the effects we find are small, they indicate that misinformation may pay off by damaging the target of misinformation.

Natália Salgado Bueno is an assistant professor at Emory University. I examine the causes on nonstate welfare provision, the consequences of public policies, specifically housing policy, on political behavior, elections, and misinformation. I use a multi-method approach with an emphasis in causal inference. My research has been published at American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Latin American Research Review, World Politics, among other outlets.

Date & time

Thu 21 Sep 2023, 11am–12.30pm


RSSS Room 3.72 or Online via Zoom


Natália Salgado Bueno


Richard Frank


Updated:  12 July 2023/Responsible Officer:  RSSS Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications