Critical discourse analysis
Hate speech
ultra right

How to Cite

RESENDE, V. D. M., MARTINELLI, Y., & SARAIVA, E. V. (2020). WHEN UNIVERSITY BECOMES THE ENEMY: HATE SPEECH ATTACKS ON FACEBOOK. Society Register, 4(1), 23–36. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.1.03


The extreme right hate speech propagated currently in Brazil addresses a broad social spectrum, from feminist movements to traditional communities. The academic community and higher education institutions are also targets, as they are identified as poles of democratic resistance. Specific hate speech towards academy in Brazil is the subject of this paper. The persecution of academic community and knowledge itself occurs through the discursive dispute especially on social networks, and thus in this analytical exercise, we looked up at Facebook’s largest bolsonarista’s group – the “Jair Bolsonaro Presidency Support Group”, which brings together 317,000 members. We analyzed the memetic discourse on the page, focusing memes that were published between April and June 2019, thematizing higher public education, and presenting a bimodal verb-visual composition. These criteria led to the collection of 115 memes analyzed with the support of a QDA package. Analysis reveals the disqualification of university institutions and their actors through ironies, negative associations including stereotypes, simplification of debate to the shallower. Students are often associated with nudity as immorality, professors of indoctrination and ridicule, protesters of ignorance, or bad character. Political debate is reduced to extreme left-right polarization, with the criminalization of the left.



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