Opinion: Brazil’s rioters may have renewed the fight on Big Tech’s failings on democracy-damaging disinformation

Dr James Fitzgerald, securities studies expert at DCU, says events in Brasília have been a renewed clarion call for action on the fight against online extremism

Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro at the Esplanada dos Ministerios in Brasilia on January 8. Picture: Getty Images.

Observers had long warned about the possibility of a January 6-style insurrection event in Brazil and on Sunday afternoon, almost two years to the day, thousands of Jair Bolsonaro supporters — clad in trademark yellow and green — stormed the offices of the Supreme Court, Congress and the Presidential Palace in the capital, Brasília.

The insurrectionists, labelled “protesters” by right-wing media, lay waste to what they could. They vandalised furniture, destroyed priceless art and in ...