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From Our World Cup Archive: How Brazil Fooled the World With a Meme

The most widespread image of the joke. Unknown author

The most widespread image of the joke. Unknown author

Remember “Cala Boca Galvão”, the Internet meme that became a worldwide joke when millions of Twitter users started telling a famous Brazilian sports narrator and broadcaster, Galvão Bueno, to shut up, during the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony?

Almost instantly it was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and people from all over the world were trying to understand what was going on.

People armed with Brazilian humour stepped up to elaborate with a fake urgent call to help save a supposedly endangered species of bird (the “galvão”), and asked people to retweet “Cala Boca Galvão” as loud as possible. This video created in June 2010 about the fictional bird that needs to be saved from the World Cup has more than 2.2 million views.  

Mainstream media outlets helped spread the hoax that was later described by The New York Times as “one of history’s most successful cyberpranks”, and clarified this in its blog The Lede.

Read the story by Raphael Tsavkko Garcia from our archive: Brazil: The ‘Cala Boca Galvão’ Phenomenon.

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