Targeting racist trolls by putting their comments on billboards ~ WalkBrazil4K Travel Blog

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Targeting racist trolls by putting their comments on billboards

Brazilians who post racist abuse online may see their words blown up and pasted onto billboards near their houses.

The campaign is called "Virtual racism, real consequences" and it's backed by Criola, a civil rights organization run by Afro-Brazilian women. The group collects comments from Facebook or Twitter and uses geolocation tools to find out where the people who have posted them live. They then buy billboard space nearby and post the comments in huge letters, although names and photos are pixelated.

Criola's founder Jurema Werneck says the campaign is intended to encourage people to speak out and report racism. "Those people [who post abuse online] think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the internet. We don't let that happen. They can't hide from us, we will find them," Werneck tells BBC Trending. There are laws against racial abuse in Brazil, but Werneck thinks the authorities haven't done enough to enforce them, and that many people are afraid to speak out against racist abuse.

Brazilians who identify as black (sometimes called "Afro-Brazilian") make up 7.6% of the population according to the country's 2010 census. Mixed-race or "pardo" Brazilians, who may have a degree of black ancestry, make up a further 43%.

This Facebook message - one of the milder ones highlighted by the campaign - says "If you washed properly, you wouldn't be so dirty." The slogan below reads: "Virtual racism, real consequences"


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