Social media is going to play a big role in the upcoming World Cup, especially given the controversial nature of this year's games. A new Pew survey released today found that 61 percent of Brazilians think the event will be bad for the country because they say it takes money away from areas such as education and health; 34 percent support the event because they say it will create jobs. Around 39 percent think the World Cup will hurt Brazil's international image; 35 percent say it will help.
And it's precisely this kind of division that you'll find in social media.
- #NãoVaiTerCopa: This hashtag, "there won't be a World Cup," emerged during the June 2013 demonstrations as a way to protest the upcoming mega-event. When some use it, it's almost like a threat, but a lot of what you'll see is people using it to show their opposition to the event or its costs, or to complain about problems associated with the World Cup or lack of preparation for the games.
- #VaiTerCopa: The flipside of the previous hashtag, this hashtag of "there will be a World Cup" is being used as an affirmation of the games and as a way to show support for the event and the Brazilian team. It's also used as a way to talk about good preparation for the World Cup or things that are going well in terms of the event. Another alternative is #VaiTerCopaSim (Yes, there will be a World Cup). Still, it is sometimes used ironically to poke fun at things like broken English or problems ahead of the event.
- #VaiTerGreve: "There will be strikes." This hashtag refers to the number of strikes that cropped up across the country ahead of the World Cup, with the potential for more to come.
- #ImaginaNaCopa: "Just imagine during the World Cup." This hashtag has been around for around two years as a lament as to what the mega-event will be like given challenges the country faces. It also inspired a group of young people to turn the phrase on its head by promoting social projects and organizations across the country.
- #CopadasCopas: "The Cup of All Cups!" This is the hashtag the Brazilian government created as an alternative to #NãoVaiTerCopa. It's been getting plenty of play on government channels, but isn't as popular as #VaiTerCopa.
- #PadrãoFIFA: "FIFA Standards." This is generally used as a criticism of things in Brazil that aren't up to par, like transportation or hospitals. This phrase has been used as part of protests that while the country built stadiums up to FIFA standards, areas like health and education aren't up to snuff.
- #CopadoMundo: This is the generic hashtag for the World Cup in Portuguese.
- #RumoAoHexa: "Road to the Sixth." This refers to Brazil being on its way to winning its sixth World Cup, and is being used largely in a sports context.
- #sónobrasil: Only in Brazil. This hashtag is being used to critique Brazilians who say that the country's problems are unique. A Tumblr by the same name does side-by-side comparisons of Brazilian complaints on social media that things happen only in Brazil, along with a real-life example of the same thing happening abroad.
Protest hashtags: these are being used in the context they were during last year's protests, though the recent demonstrations leading up to the games have been much smaller than last June.
- #vemprarua: this was used during last year's protests, and means come to the streets.
- #FIFAGoHome: self explanatory.
- #CopaPraQuem: "The World Cup for whom?" This hashtag is used as a rallying cry to protest the games.