18:19 GMT20 April 2021
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    The past few days have seen the continuation of a full-fledged Internet war of memes between Brazil and Portugal.

    With #BR x PT already becoming one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter, a full-blown Internet war of memes between Brazil and Portugal shows no signs of abating.

    Brazil declared the so-called Internet war against Portugal after some Portuguese Internet users co-opted the satirical linguistic memes being used by their South American cousins. The memes in question used the lead-in "In Brazilian Portuguese, you don't say…" The joke format gained popularity on the Brazilian Internet in 2015.

    At the time, users replaced conventional phrases in English with funny Portuguese options that are common in Brazil in a bid to teach foreigners how to speak their language.

    For example, a user wrote, "in Brazilian Portuguese, you don't say I love you. You say [I'll buy you a snack], which means endless love; and I think that's beautiful."

    Subsequently, the account "We do not" appeared on Twitter, which began to post "In Portugal we do not say" memes; the hashtag #PrimeiraGuerraMemeal (the first war of memes) also gained momentum.

    Most likely, the Portuguese did not expect any reaction when they took the Brazilian idea for the meme. The original definition of a meme, after all, is an element of a culture or system of behavior which can be transferred from one person to another.

    However, as a result, Twitter saw scores of Brazilian tweets claiming that their nation was, in fact, "an intergalactic homeland of memes" and not to be trifled with by its former colonizers.

    Brazilians quickly accused the Portuguese of stealing their idea for jokes, in what became a real war of memes, with both sides insulting the other, often with no knowledge of how or why the digital conflict began.

    Users from both countries began to remember jokes about cultural differences between the two countries, and 'attacking' each other. For example, a Portuguese user named Valdir Furtado tweeted that "there is only hatred on the part of Brazilians in the list of my notifications; and when have they managed to lay the Internet in the favelas (ghettos)?" Afterwards, the tweet was apparently deleted.

    But users were quick to respond to this caustic remark, and the tweets included the following.

    "The Internet appeared in our favelas just when you, instead of working, preferred to steal others' things," a user tweeted, referring, apparently, to the stolen joke.

    "This picture says more than words," another user tweeted sarcastically.

    Some users preferred to openly scoff at their rivals' weak points, including military power.

    "The Portuguese Navy sends drones in order to cope with all this Brazilian turmoil," a tweet read.

    Also, users ironically referred in their tweets to the unity of the language and history of the two countries.

    "In Brazil, we lived better during the colonial period than nowadays. I believe that this whole war is going on due to envy, or we just miss each other," this user tweeted.

    "Portugal: You have stolen our language! Brazil: my dear, it is you who have captured these lands. In fact, I would like to see English as our mother tongue," a tweet read. 

    "It's the Portuguese's fault; to learn English, I have to use the Duolingo program," according to another tweet.

    "Portugal: How are you? Brazil: So so. Portugal: Your behavior is strange. Brazil: remember the year of 1500, " a tweet says, in a clear reference to discovering Brazil during the initial phase of colonization.


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    hashtag, Internet memes, language, war, Internet, Twitter, Portugal, Brazil
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