Every time Castle in the Sky is shown on Japanese TV, the country's Twitter users flood timelines concurrent tweets. In the past, they have set new world records in the process. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he has no idea about this.
When Castle in the Sky is shown on TV, the characters say the word "balse" in a Spell of Destruction to bring down the city named "Laputa" during the movie's climax. At this moment, Japanese Twitter users tweet out the word "balse" (バルス). Online, this is called the "Balse Festival" (バルス祭り or "barusu matsuri"), and it's been a way for Twitter to test its capacity.
The Balse Festival set a new record during a Castle in the Sky showing in 2011, battering Twitter with 11,349 tweets-per-second. This topped the previous record of 8,868 tweets-per-second, when Beyonce announced she was pregnant.
That record was shattered in 2013 during another Castle in the Sky broadcast which hit 143,199 tweets per second. The 2016 Balse Festival hit 345,000 per minute, which obviously didn't break a record, but was still impressive. See for yourself:
— Shigracy (@Shigracy) January 15, 2016
However, the broadcast did have a countdown to the movie's balse climax.
— ☆サトケイ☆ (@satokei0408) January 15, 2016
Only two minutes and thirty seconds to go! And here is what this September's Balse Festival looked like:
— る ま ◢͟￨????佑唯まーる (@llmaAb) September 29, 2017
It even made the evening news.
NEWS ZEROでバルス祭り流れてたよwww pic.twitter.com/kEcOrgOjxg
— もずく飴????絶被壮五と原稿 (@mozuku_ame) September 29, 2017
Yet, when NHK asked Dorsey about the Balse Festival, he replied, "What's that?" The interviewer replied, "It's 'balse.'" Dorsey, then said, "I don't know what that is."
Twitter, however, certainly does know what that is. In 2013, Japanese site IT Media reported that Twitter's Japanese branch contacted the main U.S. offices weeks prior to the Castle in the Sky broadcast to give a heads up so the platform could withstand the inevitable pounding. When the anime was shown in Japan, engineers in San Francisco worked the early morning hours U.S. time as the servers were, at the peak, clobbered with four times the number of tweets per second as the previous record breaking benchmark.
Perhaps Dorsey misheard or the question wasn't clear, because he should know what the Balse Festival is.