Assembling Amazon Fires through English Hashtags. Materializing Environmental Activism within Twitter Networks

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This paper is about the networks around the fires in the Brazilian Amazon forest during 2019 in tweets with the English hashtags #PrayForAmazonas, #ActForTheAmazon and #AmazonFire. We have studied 2517 tweets. Both the languages and the content of the tweets were taken into consideration to see who is assembled and what discursive elements are used in the framing. Our results indicate that the fires are framed as a global concern, beyond the Brazilian borders, especially as ‘the lungs of the world’. The framing of responsibility for the fires is focused on president Bolsonaro, who is assembled in many tweets, while animals and indigenous people are framed as victims. We conclude that the tweets in English tend to produce more relationships in terms of likes and retweets, in comparison to tweets in Portuguese and Spanish. In addition, the role of politicians and celebrities seems critical in getting traction around a hashtag and making it trending.