Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Orkut : A Web Site Born in U.S. Finds Fans in Brazil

Orkut, the invention of a Turkish-born software engineer named Orkut Buyukkokten, never really caught on in the United States, where MySpace rules teenage cyberspace. But it is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in Brazil. . .But the sheer popularity of Orkut, which people can join by invitation only, has had several unexpected consequences. Almost as soon as Brazilians started taking over Orkut in 2004 — and long before April 2005, when Google made Orkut available in Portuguese — English-speaking users formed virulently anti-Brazilian communities like "Too Many Brazilians on Orkut." . . . . And, more darkly, Orkut's success has made it a popular vehicle for child pornographers, pedophiles and racist and anti-Semitic groups . . . . .Orkut fanatics seem undisturbed by illegal activity on the site, which most of those interviewed said they had never come across personally. They were more interested in finding long-lost classmates and friends, one of the site's most lauded abilities. . . . . Mr. Nunes de Oliveira of SaferNet stressed that he was only against the illegal uses of Orkut. "It's a fantastic tool, an excellent service," he said. "We do not want it gone."

Read more The New York Times

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