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Has Brazil found a way to make trolls shut up

It uses a geo-location tool to trace Facebook and Twitter comments, hires a billboard near the place and puts up the message online for the public to see.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: December 1, 2015 7:40:20 pm
"GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself"/ Virtual racism, real consequences “GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself”/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Porto Alegre, Brazil

In Brazil, if you post a racist comment on social media, you might find that same comment splashed across a billboard and placed around your residence as a mark of public shame.

This is a project called ‘Virtual racism, real consequences’ backed by Criola, a civil rights organisation run by Afro-Brazilian women. It uses a geo-location tool to trace Facebook and Twitter comments, hires a billboard near the place and puts up the message online for the public to see. The name and picture of the person is blurred or pixelated.

“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,” Criola’s founder Jurema Werneck told the BBC.

The campaign had started after some people posted racial comments on Facebook against Maria Julia Coutinho, the weather presenter of a news show in Brazil in July. “In partnership with billboard media companies, we put on the streets real comments posted on Facebook against the journalist. We omitted names and faces of the authors — we had no intention of exposing the aggressors. We just wanted to raise awareness. This way people can think about the consequences before posting this kind of comment on the internet,” wrote the campaigners.

"I arrived home smelling black people"/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Vila Velha, Brazil “I arrived home smelling black people”/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Vila Velha, Brazil

The campaign has been mostly received appreciation but there are some who believe that only racist posts should not come under the ambit of this campaign, there are other forms of harassment as well that can be addressed, says a report in The Huffington Post.

"If she bathed, she didn't get grimy"/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Fiera De Santana “If she bathed, she didn’t get grimy”/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Fiera De Santana "A black girl called Maju. You can't complain about prejudice"/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Sau Paulo “A black girl called Maju. You can’t complain about prejudice”/ Virtual racism, real consequences at Sau Paulo

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