There are so many memes on the Internet that it is often impossible to keep up with all of them. One of the most important and recurring in Japan is related to ‘Castle in the Sky’ (The castle in the sky), an animated film created by Studio Ghibli in 1986.
Every time this movie airs on a Japanese TV channel, thousands of users put Twitter’s capabilities to the test, publishing non-stop tweets with the same message: “balse”.
The reason for this “raft festival” (festival raft or barusu matsuri) is given because at the climax of the film one of the characters uses this spell of destruction. At that moment the city of Laputa begins to crumble into pieces.
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Thousands of tweets per second
To give us an idea of the madness that this “festival” supposes on Twitter japan, below we can see a video in which it is shown the number of tweets per second that are published when this moment of the films arrives:
— Shigracy (@Shigracy) 15 de enero de 2016
In 2011 all records were broken during that year’s ‘balse festival’: 11,349 tweets per second. They left behind the previous mark obtained when Beyonce announced her pregnancy (with 8,868 tweets per second).
Two years later they broke their own record again, achieving a whopping 143,199 tweets per second. In 2016 they failed to overcome it (345,000 tweets per minute), but during the broadcast of the film a countdown was shown so that everyone knew when to start tweeting:
— ☆サトケイ☆ (@satokei0408) 15 de enero de 2016
Obviously, all fashions have an expiration date, and this year’s balse festival failed to generate headlines about it. Anyway, it remains one of the milestones in the history of the social network.
Twitter CEO is unaware of this meme
As we know, Jack Dorsey recently traveled to Japan to face the murders that occurred in the country. After the required questions, NHK decided to consult him about the Balse festival, leaving the CEO of Twitter with a stunned face.
The interviewer responded, of course, “it’s raft.” Dorsey he acknowledged that he “did not know him”, something that draws a lot of attention. Let’s not forget that it is one of the events that generated the most traffic in the history of the platform.
In fact, in 2013 the Twitter Japan team contacted the US offices weeks before the raft festival that year. The morning the anime aired, San Francisco engineers had to work to change the limit for tweets per second.
It is quite surprising that the CEO of the company was not aware of this.
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