An intriguing case of moral panic marketing grabbed Brazilian headlines this week as beneficiaries of an income subsidy for impoverished families reacted to a rumor that the subsidy would be cancelled.
Press coverage of the case has been as confused as the speculations surrounding it, with situation and opposition trading insinuations.
The Sunday Folha de S. Paulo, for example, questions the official version, according to which the Caixa Economica Federal had reacted to the rumors with an adjustment to its payment calendar with the story of a beneficiary who withdrew her benefits days before these were due to be paid — part of an unannounced system test, the Caixa told the Folha.
In the Estado de S. Paulo, a later admission by President Rousseff that human error may have played a role and an order to supporters to await the end of the investigation before drawing public…
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