Hate messages on Facebook walls, Twitter feeds, direct messages and private messages from strangers and even those we know are unfortunately a reality of the world and times we live in. As the world and Americans fume at the latest public figure to stand as a symbol of racist discrimination – none other than US President Donald J Trump – an old video of a social experiment in Europe has suddenly resurfaced as a stark reminder that words assume a whole different personality when said out loud.
In this video that’s filmed in Lithuania, a man who can only speak English asks strangers to translate a message that has been sent to him on Facebook. He tells them that he has just moved to the country and he was sent this message – which is a strongly worded racist hate message – that he cannot decipher.
When the people read the message, the expression on their faces just show how terrible they feel about what’s written. Many flat out refuse to translate the message for him, saying they can’t or there is nothing useful for the man there. There is this sudden urge to protect this stranger for whom the message was sent.
Though the video was published in March 2015 to introduce a website that’s meant to be handbook on how to handle racism, what it shows and attempts to convey is extremely relevant today.
Explaining the experiment, the creators said, “We invited people (not professional actors) to participate in a casting for an ad. In advance, we gave no specifics on what the ad would be about. When they had arrived, we asked them to wait a second in our waiting room. They had no clue the waiting room was in fact fake, and we were filming them already there with our hidden cameras.”
What did you think of the social experiment? Tell us in the comments below.