Brazilians who post racist comments online may see their offensive text blown up and displayed on a hoarding near their house.
The billboard shaming is part of a campaign called ‘Virtual Racism, Real Consequences’ by Brazil-based NGO, Criola, and is aimed at curbing racism in the virtual world.
Criola, a civil rights organisation run by Afro-Brazilian women, uses the geotagging feature of Twitter and Facebook to track down addresses of such people and then buys billboard space near their houses to post the racist comments in huge letters, although their names and photos are pixelated.
“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,” claimed the organisers on their website.
According to the Brazilian media, the campaign was triggered by an incident where Maria Julia Coutinho, a black weather presenter, was targeted by online trolls who posted racist comments on her channel’s Facebook page.
The NGO is running the campaign in partnership with local billboard media companies.