Investigated Content: Two videos show the same excerpt from a speech by Lula in which the former president says that poor people are only remembered by politicians at election time. One of the publications has the screen divided into two parts: on the left, the author of the post reacts by disapproving of the former president’s speech, while on the right, the PT’s video is shown.
where it was published: Kwai.
Completion of Proof: Videos circulating on Kwai are misleading, suggesting that former president Lula, during a speech, would have belittled the poor population by comparing it to toilet paper.
The PT’s speech, which lasted about 43 minutes, was taken out of context. On the occasion, Lula spoke at the Meeting of the Movements of the Field, Forests and Waters, on October 15, 2021, which aimed to promote a discussion on the fight against hunger in Brazil.
The videos verified here do not show the complete speech of Lula, who, in fact, criticizes the posture, attributed by him to other leaders, of remembering the poor people only during the electoral campaign period.
Comprova classifies as misleading all content taken from the original context and used in another in such a way that its meaning is altered and confused, with or without the deliberate intention to cause harm.
Scope of publication: Comprova investigates the most far-reaching suspicious content on social networks. Together, the videos published on Kwai reached more than 906 thousand interactions, with 28.2 thousand likes, more than 7 thousand comments, 40.9 thousand shares and 830.4 thousand views until June 28th.
What the authors of the publications say: Comprova contacted those responsible for the publications through messages on the social network Kwai. However, there was no feedback until the completion of this verification.
How do we check: Comprova started the verification by transcribing Lula’s speech shown by the verified videos. From there, using an excerpt from the speech, he did a Google search, which resulted in a more complete video, published on the former president’s profile. on Facebookwith the full text of the speech.
With the recording, which is 42 minutes and 59 seconds long, Comprova was able to investigate the context and content of Lula’s complete speech, in addition to the date and place where it was performed.
The verified videos
The pieces of disinformation verified by Comprova were published on June 24 by two different profiles on the social network Kwai, a mobile video-sharing application. Both use an excerpt from a speech made by Lula, PT’s pre-candidate for the presidency. One of the videos is titled “Lula says: ‘Poor is just a number’. Lula and the left against the people”; the other is titled “Is it a Lula number? Poor is Lula toilet paper?”.
In the target content of the verification, Lula appears saying: “The poor is a number. Sometimes a nice number to use in a campaign. Me, 20 years ago, I said: ‘Poor, you know, it’s used like toilet paper. Ah, it’s very useful during the election season, but then you throw it away, forget it’”.
The statement, taken from its original context, misleadingly suggests that Lula considers the poor “a beautiful number to use in a campaign. In fact, the former president criticizes this stance, which he attributes to other politicians.
By searching for an excerpt of the statement on Google, the team of verifiers came up with another, more complete video, published on Lula’s official Facebook page, lasting 42 minutes and 59 seconds. From this content, it was possible to identify the context and the date in which the speech was made.
The demonstration took place at the Meeting of the Rural, Forest and Water Movements with Lula, on October 15, 2021, the eve of World Food Day. An even longer video of the same meeting is published on Lula’s official YouTube channel. At the event, former president stated that the return of hunger would be related to the absence of a project that puts the poor in the country’s budget: “We can produce whatever we want, but if the people don’t have money, they will go hungry.”
The excerpt used by the authors of the verified videos can be found between minutes 00:34:59 and 00:35:18 (Facebook link). The complete idea starts at 00:33:45 and extends to 00:35:59, check it out:
“So we’re talking about hunger for food, but we have a lot of other hungers, folks. Many other hungers as harsh or as strong as food. We are hungry for environmental policy and the preservation of our waters, and the preservation of our forests, our animals, our fauna. And of an animal, which, if we are not careful, it is dying very badly, which is the human being. One of the great misfortunes is that human beings, the poorest, are not dying only in the Amazon because of deforestation, unemployment and hunger. It dies all over the world for the forgetfulness of those who should have a responsibility to remember. No president of any country in the world forgets the budget of the Armed Forces, no country in the world forgets the budgets of Itamaraty, the budget of the Public Ministry, the budget of the Federal Police, the budget of the Revenue, but forgets to put the poor in the budget. Because the poor are not taken into account. The poor is a number. Sometimes a nice number to use in a campaign. Me, 20 years ago, I said: ‘Poor, you know, it’s used like toilet paper. Ah, it’s very useful at election time, but then you throw it away, forget it.’ I’m saying this, which I said 30 years ago, I’m old, I’m talking about the past. I should talk about the future, but these people who impeached Dilma, impeached Dilma, building a bridge to the future, look at the bridge they gave us: purgatory. Are these people self-critical? Not. These people want this to continue. Because this country was never governed for 100% of its people. This country has always been ruled by a privileged minority.”
When analyzing the speech, it is possible to notice that Lula initially criticizes the position of presidents around the world who forget to “put the poor in the budget” and that the poorest are dying “for forgetting those who should have the responsibility to remember ”. By mentioning that “the poor are a number”, “a beautiful number to use in a campaign”, Lula is not expressing his own opinion, but seeking to exemplify how these presidents, whose names are not mentioned, see the poor.
Following, the presidential candidate makes reference to “these people who impeached Dilma (PT), impeached Dilma”. He mentions that he should be talking about the future, but that he has been insisting on the same theme for decades (the “use” of the poor at a time of election out of interest) because he understands that the issue has not been overcome.
Lula then mentions that, instead of a “bridge to the future”, “look at the bridge they gave us: purgatory” – clearly criticizing the government program called “A Bridge to the Future”which paved the way for President Michel Temer’s actions after the fall of former President Dilma Rousseff.
The authors of the videos
One of the profiles that posted the video checked here had, until June 27, 5,200 followers on Kwai and 523 content posted. Most publications are against Lula and the PT and in favor of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). The author also has a YouTube channel, with 462 followers, and a Twitter profile, which states that he is from Minas Gerais.
The other verified video was published by a profile titled Sou contra o PT e você? (Celsus 5692). The profile has 48,900 followers and 634 posts; most of them against Lula and the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
why do we investigate: Comprova investigates suspicious content about the covid-19 pandemic, public policies of the federal government and the presidential elections that went viral on social media. The videos verified here take the speech of a pre-candidate for the Plateau out of context. This can confuse and influence voters’ voting decision, which is detrimental to the democratic process.
Other checks on the topic: Comprova has already verified other pieces of disinformation about political figures who can interfere in voters’ choice. Recently, Comprova showed that Lula does not have a Vatican bank account; what post tampered with audio and lied when claiming that Lula was cursed in Caruaru (PE) is that post changed location of act against Lula to discredit polls.
Verified by: O Estado de S. Paulo, Correio, Carajás portal, A Gazeta, Metrópoles, Nexo and O Dia
Source: CNN Brasil