Let’s assume for a second that you know Portuguese and dislike a loud mouth named Galvao and wish to say “Shut your mouth, Galvao”! Not only do you wish to say it loud and clear, you wish to circulate it to the millions of Brazilian brethren who also hate Galvao with a passion. The three words in Portuguese are Cala Boca Galvao.
You strategize that Tweeting it will create a huge momentum that will, hopefully, help shut Galvao’s mouth.
And why is Galvao so despised?
His football commentary is annoying. So annoying that he has been compared to a lepata (a stadium horn a.k.a. the vuvuzela which produces a loud, distinctive monotone note). It is reported that Galvao’s commentary results in Brazilians tearing their hair, flipping channels, muting their TVs and the like, no pun intended.
You execute your tweet with a flourish and sit back, monitoring the results with hope in your heart. However, the results startle you.
Instead of Galvao getting the message and shutting up, something else entirely different happens.
A baffled English speaking world innocently wonders what the three words “Cala Boca Galvão” in the tweet mean. This results in a huge number of Google searches for these three words.
An enterprising SEO savvy guy spots an opportunity. He puts up a website overnight and optimizes it for the phrase Cala Boca Galvão. This Google-watcher also knows that if the page has video, Google will index it almost instantly. An appropriate video is shot and inserted ASAP and lo and behold, the site is indexed by Google! People searching for “Cala Boca Galvão” immediately start landing up on his home page. The message that they see there? That every time someone tweets “Cala Boca Galvão”, 10 cents would be donated to a foundation to save the endangered bird of Brazil, the Galvao.
The tweets skyrocket. “Cala Boca Galvão” goes viral. A million people see the video. No one, not even the media, realizes that it is a hoax, that there is no such endangered bird!
The New York Times finally wises up to the hoax and lets people know that they have been had. However, whilst all this is happening, Galvao is still going on and on further irritating millions of Brazilians.
The moral of the story? You tell me. I’d love to hear from you.