Criola launch a campaign to raise awareness for online racism, by putting up the offensive posts on billboards.
While we’ve covered an app that filters offensive messages to or from users’s accounts, trolling on social media often occurs because online spaces provide a degree of detachment from the effects offensive words can have. Brazil-based Criola are addressing this issue with their ‘virtual racism, real consequences’ campaign.
Founded in 1992, Criola is an organization working to defend black women rights. To carry out the campaign, they first identified racists comments posted on the social media. Then, they located the places where the comments were posted via geotags, and displayed blown-up images of the trolling in those neighborhoods through partnering with billboard media companies. The names and faces of the offenders were omitted, as it is hoped that the campaign will evoke a public debate instead of name and shame. Criola also provides a guide for those who want to act outside of Brazil — users can screen capture racists comments they see, and send the dimensions of a suitable billboard, along with a link to the post to Criola, who will provide them with a printable file of a campaign poster.
(The top image translates to “A black girl named “Maju”? You can’t complain about prejudice, GFY.” while the latter “I arrived home smelling like black people.”)
Though controversial, the campaign makes use of already public information, and raises awareness of online racism by bringing it into the physical world. How else could discriminatory online content be prevented?