Racismo Virtual

A Brazilian campaign to shame people who make racist comments online is taking offensive posts and putting them on giant billboards near the location of the post.

The campaign, "Virtual Racism, Real Consequences" is being run by Criola, a non-profit established by black Brazilian women which advocates for the rights of minorities.

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Here's how it works, according to the campaign's website: first, they identify racist comments on Facebook and Twitter. Then, using geotags, they figure out where the comments are coming from. And finally, they put up a huge billboard near the location of the post, pointing out the comment and denouncing it for being racist. Though the names and photos of the posters are pixelated in the billboards, campaign organizers say the plan is to confront people with these messages, to make the point that comments online have an impact in the real world.

"Those people [who post abuse online] think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the internet," Jurema Werneck, the founder of Criola, told the BBC.  "We don't let that happen. They can't hide from us, we will find them."

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Criola began putting up the signs partly in reaction to an incident in July when black Brazilian journalist Maria Julia Coutinho was subjected to racist comments on Facebook.