ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: GlobalSocial

This story, about Brazilians and the Portuguese language starting to dominate Orkut, is more interesting than I originally thought.

Link broken and not even the WaybackMachine can help much.

Part available via quoted below:

By Alberto Alerigi

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil has butted heads with the United States this year on issues ranging from cotton subsidies to the war in Iraq.

But perhaps none of the battles has been so personal as the one being fought on the Internet.

Thousands of Brazilians have become devotees of Orkut (, a popular new social-networking site from Web search leader Google Inc.

Orkut allows members to organize themselves into online communities of friends, and friends of friends, to discuss everything from chess to sandwiches.

But the rush of Brazilians to join Orkut and rival social networking sites has upset some online users, who complain of a proliferation of messages posted in Portuguese, Brazil's native tongue.

Some users have even started communities specifically for people to air their gripes on this issue.

The United States has at least 153 million Internet users, compared with Brazil's 20 million. Still, Orkut said Brazilians dominated its membership roster in June, outnumbering Americans for the first time.

The site says it has more than 769,000 members, making it one of the largest and most popular of its type on the Internet. About 23.5 percent of the users are from the United States, while another 41.2 percent are Brazilians.

Iranians are a distant third place at about 6 percent.

Along with OffShoring, it's an example where the US, having plugged itself into the global network, suddenly finds that power issues cut both ways. Suddenly their culture is under threat, swamped by an alien language and mores. Suddenly, they are losing out to competition from abroad.

On this evidence, the AngloSphere doesn't handle this situation very well. Immedietely the hackles rise, complaints are made, aggression is expressed. Like China and Islam in their imperial hey-days, it's got very comfortable with the sense of it's superiority and right to dominance in all cultural spheres. Wonder how many more years it would take before this started getting really ugly?

See also :

CategoryBrazil, CategoryBrasil

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