The social media capital of the world never ceases to amaze: inmates in Brazil post to Facebook from inside the jail

Earlier in 2013, Forbes and Wall Street Journal featured Brazil’s fascination with social media, and showed the great adoption of the medium between brazilians. Brazilians are show offs by nature, so that wouldn’t surprise me.

barbecue inmates jail brazil

According to the articles, Brazil already counts 65 million Facebook users, second only to the U.S. It’s the world’s second-biggest user of Twitter (with 41.2 million tweeters and counting) and the largest market outside the U.S. for YouTube. Meanwhile, a range of homegrown and foreign networks – from Google-owned Orkut to – keep social media users logged in for 9.7 hours a month, according to a 2013 comScore report.

Plus, all signs indicate Brazil is just hitting its social stride. Average time spent on Facebook among Brazilians increased 208 percent last year, to 535 minutes per month. By comparison, global use declined by 2 percent during the same period. All that, considering that only 79 percent of Brazilian Internet users (some 78 million people) are now on social media.

inmates social media brasil pic uol2
inmates social media brasil pic uol2

The Wall Street Journal tells the story of the Barbosa family members who botched their cover of an old Brazilian gospel song last year on a family video, they thought was pretty funny and uploaded to YouTube. They didn’t expect the rest of Brazil to laugh along with them. Within weeks, though, the video was viewed and shared millions of times on YouTube and Facebook. Parodies, including an animated version in which the Simpsons lip-sync the family’s mangled version, spread across the Internet.

The popularity of the Barbosas’ performance reflects the growth of social media in Latin America’s biggest country. Brazil’s expanding middle class is increasingly going online, and social media are particularly popular because of Brazil’s hyper-social culture, social-media executives say.

Now, another part of the brazilian population is also exhibiting themselves on social media and using it to connect to friends: inmates.

UOL, a brazilian website, showed how Inmates of the penitentiary complex of Pedrinhas, in São Luís, at the state of Maranhao, use cell phones and social networks to report the routine in jail.

Maranhão lives a prison crisis that focuses on started at the Pedrinhas county jail. Overcrowded with 1,700 slots but holding 2,200 prisoners, the complex recorded 62 deaths since last year – 60 in 2013 and two this year. After an intervention by the Police in the complex, inmates ordered attacks outside the prison – one of them kiled a 6 year old girl after 95 % of her body burned in a bus that was burned down by them.

It was through mobile phones, that leaders of criminal gangs ordered attacks on buses in the evening of the last day 3 in retaliation for police action in the prison. Detainees still use social media to post pictures and show the routine inside the jail.

inmates social media brasil pic uol
inmates social media brasil pic uol

UOL found at least three prisoners who use Facebook. One is John Hilton Alves Araujo, 27 , the “Praguinha” or “Little Beast” who is accused of receiving orders from one faction to ignite buses in São Luís. During the period he was arrested, Praguinha posted a picture from inside the prison. In it, he appears seated on a network that is attached to the ceiling grid cell.

The inmate John Santos also uses the cell phone to share your routine in the complex, by posting on his Facebook account. In his profile, the last post of Santos was Thursday (9), when he placed on the internet 17 pictures of him and his cellmates.

It’s possible to find online, videos where the inmates show an inmate and remove meat from his legs, and another where they decapited another inmate.

For the ones interested in Brazil’s social media aspect, the video below by give you a rundown of the country.

With information from, and WSJ.

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Joe Cloud
Dutch, American, Brazilian... lived there for 5 years and owns property in Brazil. Out of the country for a few years now and would like to go back, however current circumstances tell me it's not the right time.

Published by Joe Cloud

Dutch, American, Brazilian... lived there for 5 years and owns property in Brazil. Out of the country for a few years now and would like to go back, however current circumstances tell me it's not the right time.