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July 18, 2004
Brazilian vs. USAian Throwdown on Orkut
What is it about Brazil that makes them such avid users of social software
? A year ago we covered the Brazilian connection during the Fotolog controversy
; now it’s Portuguese v. English on Orkut
(with the English speakers, I might add, looking like jerks.)
Tammy Soldaat, a Canadian, got a sample of Brazilian wrath recently when she posted a message asking whether her community site on body piercing should be exclusive to people who speak English.
Brazilian Orkut users quickly labeled her a “nazi” and “xenophobe.”
“After that I understood why everyone is complaining about these people, why they’re being called the ‘plague of Orkut,”’ she said in a site called “Crazy Brazilian Invasion.” […]
“When the average Orkut user goes to look at community listings to see what’s out there, he’ll see a list populated with pretty much all Portuguese communities,” Gibbs said. “This is highly frustrating since Orkut is not a Brazilian service.”
“Orkut is not a Brazilian service.” It’s hard to know where to begin — the assumption that because English has been the historically dominant language it should be made the dominant language by fiat in the future is simply foul.
(And, on an interesting note about the panic of the majority, the assertion that Orkut is “pretty much all” Brazilian communities has a parallel in the study of sexism — men will report that any given room is half women when the actual proportion of women crosses one-third.)
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