The Manila Times

Meme humor helps Brazilians cope with grim times


SAO PAULO: Political corruption, economic crisis, rampant crime -- the headlines in Brazil are grim, so locals have taken to online memes that often go viral to relieve the stress.

spread online -- making light of the the internet by storm in a country number of Facebook users.

One popular meme has tour - the deeply unpopular president

the national football team, being proclaimed president.

Sandro Sanfelice says that the meme creators are like the orchestra - ing even as the country sinks under

works for a phone company in the million followers on his specialty Facebook page Capinaremo­s.

He claims that some of his memes

news in Brazil, Sanfelice last year created “Capina Meme Factory,” a closed Facebook page that gathers meme producers.

Any member can propose a ethical standards and seems funny, moderators will publish it.

Once in cyberspace, the meme, like a passing comet, will likely have a bright but limited lifespan.

- coming memes almost instantly, from something banal to the electoral court decision” that re wrongdoing, said Sanfelice.

media group O Globo published discussing a hush money payment to a jailed politician.

in every way possible -- as well as pictures of his political nemeses, former leftist presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, laughing uproarious­ly -- spread

Presidenti­al warning

Not everyone was amused, apparently.

A few days later, the meme creators received an email from the presidency “telling us that the of be used for any purpose other than journalism,” Sanfelice said.

pause, but the humorists decided neverthele­ss to continue publishing

email stating that the message was a reminder that they needed prior for commercial purposes.

For Viktor Chagas, a professor at the Universida­d Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, the message was clear.

“Politician­s are not accustomed to losing control over their image. With the internet to happen, and that worries them,” said Chagas, a specialist on the news media.

Chagas, along with a group of students and professors, created a project dedicated to the study and archiving of this new form

“We cannot look at this phenomenon only from the point of view of fake news or post-truth, as if all this content deserves to be discarded,” Chagas said.

“People are gaining access to a debate that they previously did not have, and that is also transformi­ng social reality,” he said.

Brazilian humor focuses on tearing down the powerful, with a heavy dash of self-parody, Chagas said.

Truth trumps fiction

For humor that is more realitybas­ed, Facebook users can turn Brazil that actually works).

Ciro Hamen, focuses on the quirky, hard to believe and outlandish.

- for a shooting to end, or a video clip of a woman who cries out presidenti­al palace.

- lion followers.

“Often we receive content that - men told AFP.

“Here, truth can be much crazier

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