One of the pitfalls of social media is that its anonymity allows people to behave in ways that would otherwise be vilified in the sphere of social real life.
Among this behaviour is being a racist jackass.
To everyone’s delight, a Brazilian activist group is holding such people accountable. Their campaign is called “Virtual racism, real consequences” and publishes racist tweets and Facebook posts on massive billboards outside of the homes of people who post them. They’ve sympathetically blurred the users’ names and profile photos likely to draw a line between inviting shame and inciting street justice.
“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,” says Jurema Werneck, who’s the founder of the group, Criola, behind the initiative. They can’t hide from us, we will find them.”
Criola buys billboard space close to where the racist online commenters live, using geolocation tools to determine their location. Most people have responded positively to the action, while others simply recommend, “If you don’t want to be offended, don’t go on the internet.”
Images courtesy of racismovirtual.