Catraca Livre, a São Paulo-based news website, outraged Brazilian netizens with clickbait coverage of the Chapecoense plane crash. Sensationalist articles included a photo gallery of Chapecoense players taking selfies on the aircraft before their death. Other posts include a video of terrified passengers mid-crash and a listicle of myths and truths about plane travel.
The news platform lost over 20,000 followers on its Facebook page by the end of the day. Catraca Livre made it to the trending topics on Twitter with a stream of negative mentions. Netizens rejected the editorial staff’s original defense of the coverage as “journalistically relevant to show other aspects of the tragedy.”
University students launched the blog in 2009, which has since voted the best Portuguese-language blog by Deutsche Welle. The news platform has seen great success with its viral content among a young, liberal audience.
Catraca Livre since retracted the photos and issued a formal apology via social media. In his statement, the blog’s creator Gilberto Dimenstein took full responsibility for the sensationalist posts. He stated, “I learned that making mistakes can be a source of great learning. . . thus, I apologize if the articles offended anyone.”
With Facebook’s new emotional “like” buttons, the news site’s formal apology garnered an ambivalent mix of hearts and angry emojis. While some may be ready to forgive, many others won’t be returning to the blog anytime soon.
A Brazilian e-commerce website was also heavily criticized for raising its prices for Chapecoense jerseys. Shortly after the accident, a team’s jersey went from costing 129 Brazilian Reals to 249.90 BRL. Obviously, the move generated fierce criticism.
Many clients accused Netshoes of trying to make a profit at the expense of the plane crash victims.
The company has released a statement explaining the different prices. “At the occasion of Black Friday, Chapecoense jerseys were at a promotional price. This morning, we sold the last units of the Black Friday stock – which led our system to change to the original pricing.” Few clients, however, believed the statement.