New campaign brings racist Facebook comments to billboards
Facebook trolls may no longer be able to hide behind a computer screen. Offensive comments are popping up on billboards throughout Brazil thanks to a project titled, "Virtual racism, real consequences."
Criola, a non-profit organization in Brazil that works to defend black women's rights, is behind the effort. The group decided to combat this issue after the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, Maria Júlia Coutinho, was the target of racist comments on Facebook.
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The news show, 'Jornal Nacional,' posted a photo of Coutinho to its Facebook page, only to be met with a slew of hateful comments.
"A black girl named "Maju"? You can't complain about prejudice, GFY," one comment read. "If she bathed properly, she wouldn't get that grimy," another Facebook user wrote.
Soon, these comments appeared on billboards near the users' homes. To do this, the team used the geo tag from Facebook to find billboard locations near the user.
Although the billboards are placed near the user's home, the campaign doesn't wish to expose or shame the authors -- the names and pictures of the Facebook users blurred out. Instead, the campaign hopes to raise awareness and prompt discussion about the consequences of virtual racism.
"Does a comment on the Internet causes less damage than a direct offense?" the project asks. "For those who comment, it may be. But for those who suffer it, the prejudice is the same."
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