Brazil owns Twitter as da Silva appeals court drama unfolds

People protest in support of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. An appellate court delivered a significant blow to da Silva, unanimously upholding a graft conviction against him and even adding years to his prison sentence in a major decision that could keep the former leader from running for a third term despite holding a lead in the polls. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
People protest in support of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. An appellate court delivered a significant blow to da Silva, unanimously upholding a graft conviction against him and even adding years to his prison sentence in a major decision that could keep the former leader from running for a third term despite holding a lead in the polls. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Supporters use their cellphones during a protest in support of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Brazil ruled Twitter briefly, as this nation of more than 200 million turned its attention to the judges who were ruling on an appeal of a corruption conviction against former President da Silva. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A supporter uses her cellphone during a protest in support of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Brazil ruled Twitter briefly, as this nation of more than 200 million turned its attention to the judges who were ruling on an appeal of a corruption conviction against da Silva. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

SAO PAULO — Brazil ruled Twitter briefly Wednesday as this nation of more than 200 million turned its attention to the judges who were deciding on an appeal by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of his corruption conviction.

By the late afternoon, all three appellate judges voted to uphold the conviction, raising the specter that the former leader won't be able to run in October for the presidency despite leading in the polls.

For a few hours as the appeals deliberations were broadcast live, three of the top 10 topics trending worldwide on Twitter were about the case. The vast quantity of tweets about the case — more than 520,000 by early evening — showed the power of social media-mad Brazil to force its way into the global conversation.

They also displayed the trademark Brazilian ability to maintain a sense of humor even as the judges' rulings polarized the country and threatened to shake the country's political stability.

For a few hours, the worldwide trending list was topped by the hashtag "MoluscoNaCadeia," or "MolluskInJail." That is a play on the fact that da Silva is universally known as "Lula," which is a common nickname for Luiz but also means squid in Portuguese.

Reflecting the other side of the debate, the hashtag "CadeAProva," or "WhereIsTheProof," also trended.

Da Silva's supporters say he is being persecuted to keep him from running for the presidency again. Detractors note that da Silva and his left-leaning Workers' Party were running the country while a huge corruption scheme siphoned billions from state oil company Petrobras.

After the judges voted to uphold the conviction, several users who were rooting for that outcome tweeted, "MAKE BRAZIL GREAT AGAIN," a twist on U.S. President Donald Trump's slogan during his 2016 campaign.

User @jefferson_hegel wrote: "Corruption exists the world over, but a fan club for the corrupt only exists in Brazil."

Supporters of the former president insisted he was being railroaded. User @kazusugiyama tweeted: "I had proof against Lula here but my dog ate it."

Such political debates often take place on social media in Brazil, where the research firm eMarketer estimates there are about 107 million social network users.

You may also interested in

Brazil's Carnival begins with parades, parties...

Feb 25, 2017

Revelers all over Brazil began Carnival celebrations after an odd opening ceremony in Rio marked by...

AP PHOTOS: Celebrating Azorean culture in...

Dec 1, 2017

AP PHOTOS: Traditions of the Azores island chain are kept alive in southern Brazil at an annual...

Agent says former World Cup winner Ronaldinho has...

Jan 17, 2018

The brother and agent of 2005 Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldinho says the former Brazil and Barcelona...

Rio urges Carnival visitors to stick to urban...

Jan 30, 2018

Brazilian health authorities are urging Carnival visitors to stick to celebrations in the city of...

Staid Sao Paulo is getting in on Carnival fun in...

Feb 6, 2018

Carnival in buttoned-up Sao Paulo? Once a ghost town during Brazil's biggest celebration, Sao Paulo...

People also read these

Rio samba school angers farmers with...

Feb 27, 2017

A leading samba school in Rio de Janeiro's world famous Carnival parade paid a tribute to native...

Clown suits, slamming balls form of Brazil...

Feb 28, 2017

To see an alternative Carnival celebration called bate-bola, most likely you need to live in a poor...

Brazilian samba schools parade along Copacabana...

Jan 7, 2018

Musicians from Rio de Janeiro's top 13 samba schools to parade along the city's Copacabana Beach

Rio urges Carnival visitors to stick to urban...

Jan 30, 2018

Brazilian health authorities are urging Carnival visitors to stick to celebrations in the city of...

AP PHOTOS: Brazilians honor sea goddess Yemanja

Feb 8, 2018

AP PHOTOS: Brazilians honor the sea goddess Yemanja with offerings ahead of the start of Carnival

About Us

Kayak Away aims to bring the latest news, techniques, destinations, and stories that inspire you to get on the water. We are all here together to share all the awesome tips and tricks to kayak.

Contact us: sales@kayakaway.com

Subscribe Now!