Brazil fights back against racist trolls by plastering their comments on billboards near their homes

By midian182
Dec 1, 2015
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  1. The scourge of racist online trolls is nothing new, but dealing with them is never easy. Engaging with trolls just makes them worse, and getting their accounts removed will usually result in them popping up somewhere else in a different guise. But now, a Brazilian campaign called ‘virtual racism, real consequences’ is fighting back against internet hate speech by displaying racist posts on huge billboards near the homes of those who post them.

    The campaign is backed by Criola, a civil rights organization run by Afro-Brazilian women. The group collects racist comments posted on Facebook or Twitter and uses geolocation tools to find out where the people who have posted them live. Criola then rents billboard space near the location and posts the comments for all to see, although they do pixelate the names and faces.

    The campaign came about after black weather presenter Maria Julio Coutinho was targeted by hundreds of racist trolls when her photo was posted on the Facebook page of Nacional Journal, a prime-time news show.

    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.”

    The campaign website says: “We omit names and faces of the authors because we have no intention of exposing anyone. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments.”

    Werneck says the campaign, which has been running since summer, has received mostly positive responses from the public, including many from Brazilians who aren’t black. To what extent ‘virtual racism, real consequences’ will curb online racism in the country remains to be seen, but at least the campaign is drawing attention to the issue.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2015
  2. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +307

    Wish they had this in my city/country. I guess I could start it, but I know that won't happen
  3. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 134   +66

    What good does it do if the pixelate out the names and faces of the offenders? You are still allowing them the anonymity of the internet. If you really want to make them change, then post their names and faces, and make them have to be responsible for what they post without being able to hide their identity. Then maybe the next time they will think before they post something, probably not, but maybe.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  4. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    Are all racist comments? Or are some I am too sensitive comments?
  5. RobertM

    RobertM TS Rookie

    The problem with this is that people that are extremely offended by the racist comments could potentially preform violent acts against the poster.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Call it a first offense, and a warning that next time may be worse. Seeing their own post on a billboard makes the world seem so much smaller and proves they are not hidden (assuming they are trying to hide).
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    If they did this in the US we'd have no open grassy areas left. Just billboards everywhere.

    I love this though - I wish there was a more scalable way to show people there are consequences for their words and actions.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +411

    This story won the internet today.
  9. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 186   +75

    Well, it's Brazil, so I suppose they don't have any free speech rights. Damn, if only you kids here could get rid of our rights this place could also be a cool as Brazil. You are actually doing a fine job of it. Your grandparents saved the world, and your parents are destroying it. I'm not sure who will be able to save it...
    EClyde likes this.
  10. J spot

    J spot TS Member Posts: 55   +13

    Doesn't sound like any free speech rights were broken. They didn't go to jail for their comments. Their identity were not even shown. And even if it were, it wouldn't interfere with their right to free speech. In fact, this organization doing this seems like a perfect example of free speech.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    It also give free speech free advertising. lol
  12. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TS Guru Posts: 329   +90

    I live here and I've seen those posts. They are, indeed, racist.
    Maybe you'll learn something about Brazil when you get to high school, you shouldn't believe everything your friends say in the playground.
    EClyde and Hexic like this.
  13. HiImTim

    HiImTim TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Coolest thing ever!
  14. ninjagai

    ninjagai TS Rookie Posts: 26   +16

    I fail to see how this does anything other than push people to violence.
  15. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +494

    "We omit names and faces of the authors because we have no intention of exposing anyone. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments."

    On the contrary, they should be exposed so the neighbors know to shun these individuals, they could be refused service at the local stores, the police could take longer to respond to their calls. You know, have consequences for your actions, ect. Sure makes me glad to live in a free country.

    "Afro-Brazilian women" This provokes too many images, mainly of a Woman with and Afros and, well, Brazilian wax jobs, I apologies for anyone who's offended by this, and high fives from those who aren't.

    And for the record, that billboard, roughly translates to "If it was right bath would not grimy" so I don't see the racism there at all, granted that's probably a really bad translation. Anyone able to translate the racism, I'm unfortunately curious.
  16. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TS Guru Posts: 329   +90

    "If she showered properly, she wouldn't be so black."
    Adhmuz likes this.
  17. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 272   +127

  18. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +494

    wow, not even close to what I got, thank you.
  19. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TS Guru Posts: 329   +90

    My pleasure

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