Version of 'Coup', the subject that caused the most disinformation in 2021

The government-sponsored version of the alleged “coup” in 2019 was, according to statistics from ChequeaBolivia, a content-review initiative by the Center for Economic Reality Studies and Social (Ceres).

Content monitoring and review figures for December 15, 2021 show that out of 700 verified content that was misinformed on social networks, 107 were related to the “coup” speech. This theme was mostly used in the months of March, July and October to generate disinformation, although it was constant throughout the year.

The data also show that politics in general, ie alleged declarations by authorities, alleged separatist actions among others, and sub-national elections were the other two thematic axes marking a disinformation agenda.

“The disinformation took place in stages. The moment of the sub-national elections is when there is more disinformation about the political parties, their offers, disinformation about one and the other (candidates), ”said the coordinator of ChequeaBolivia, Juan Carlos Uribe.

The graphs show that there was more misinformation in the months of March and October than in the other months. Both dates coincide with the sub-national elections and conflicts that arose from the motion to repeal Law 1386 of the National Strategy to Combat the Legitimation of Illegal Profits and the Financing of Terrorism and the Bill against the Legitimation of Illegal Profits.

According to Uribe, it is becoming increasingly complex to detect disinformation generated by individuals related to the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), forcing the use of new surveillance and verification techniques, which in the case of content that misinforms in favor of the opposition does not Case is. He added that in the past few months, Facebook pages have been discovered that misinformation and pay for advertisements to promote content on that social network.

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About the coronavirus

Despite prevailing political issues related to the pandemic, the misinformation about Covid-19 continues. In January and June 2021 there was an increasing number of incorrect content on this topic. Both dates coincide with the arrival of vaccines and the third wave of coronavirus in Bolivia.

“The arrival of vaccines was very critical at that moment because there was a lot of misinformation circulating, people have emerged who have been called disinformants around the world because they have started to publicize against the vaccine, against its effects. Investigations into other misinformation were even used as official documents to support their claims, ”said Uribe.

WhatsApp has been used as the main channel to misinformation about the effects of vaccines, especially in rural areas of the country where videos, pictures, and even audios have been shared in Quechua to convince people not to get vaccinated.


The rules against illicit profits

In the months of October and November, 56 pieces of misinformation content were verified in social networks and linked to these norms.

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Cases related to fraud or phishing

It’s a recurring theme. Around 31 verified pieces of content tried to cheat people.

More misinformation is circulating on Facebook

571 verified cases were identified on this social network.


ChequeaBolivia coordinator Juan Carlos Uribe reported that so far 4,000 people have been trained to know how to spot false content on social networks.

“This section is a complement to the screening (of disinformation) we are doing and in this section we seek to empower citizens and journalists and train them in content review, critical thinking and digital tools front to stop misinformation,” said he.

In addition, we are constantly working on the development of infographics in order to raise awareness among citizens not to share false content on social networks and to verify the information that reaches them through these digital spaces.


The most important recommendations, in order not to believe in misinformation, are: Ask yourself whether the date of the picture, video, audio or text is current or whether it is information from the past; find the source of the content; Check for spelling or typographical errors and analyze whether it is a meme.

Although media literacy is not intended to be a definitive solution to the problem of disinformation, it is one of the main pillars to counter this phenomenon, according to Uribe.


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