Fail Whale, Prank Parrot: World Cup Sets Record As Biggest Web Event Ever

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It’s official.  The 2010 World Cup is the biggest thing to ever happen to the internet, ever. According to Akamai.com’s Net Usage Index, net traffic on the first day of the World Cup surpassed the former leading event (Barack Obama‘s presidential election victory) by 30%.

Some of the inevitable consequences of this have been noticed by internet users.  Twitter, for example, prone to hiccups on a good day, has been flying the Fail Whale to and fro.

The Globe & Mail reports on one strange side effect of the increase in traffic: a twitter campaign to save a rare Brazilian parrot.  So rare, in fact, that does not actually exist.

It all started with a particularly mouthy Brazilian football commentator, and the tweet CALA BOCA GALVAO.

This, we’re told, roughly translates from Portuguese to “Shut Up Galvao,” Galvao being a football announcer in Brazil that, apparently, everybody hates. So far, so good. Except that somewhere down the line, folks who had no idea what the phrase stood for fell for a joke posted by some Twitter user that Galvao was some kind of endangered bird, and that the phrase was a reference to a campaign to protect the Galvao.

Things have snowballed from there.  A great number of people on Twitter now believe that tweeting “CALA BOCA GALVAO” will cause money to be donated to galvao parrot relief efforts.  Another faction believes that Lady Gaga is releasing a new single called Cala Boca Galvao, and all the proceeds will go towards this endangered parrot.

Meanwhile, anyone who speaks Portuguese is laughing their asses off.  Oh, The Internet.  What would we do without you?

Note: Just in case we didn’t make ourselves clear: the following is a parody video.

(via Techmeme)


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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.