When someone makes a racist comment online, it doesn’t lack a real-life punch and impact just because it’s on the Internet.
To drive that point home, a Brazilian civil-rights group named Criola has launched a campaign called, “virtual racism, real consequences,” which takes racist comments from the Internet and posts them on actual billboards within the neighborhoods where the bigoted commenters reside.
According to The Next Web, the group pinpoints racist comments online, before using geo-tag data to zero in on the offensive user’s neighborhood. From there, Criola makes sure to rent billboard space close in proximity to where the person lives — so that person could see the effects of their words — and posts the message onto the blown-up sign.
Although the user’s name and image are blurred out, their hateful words are plastered in plain sight for all to see. Maybe then, that person will realize how wrong he or she was to make that comment in the first place.
Brazil is a massive country with a population of over 200 million. If this “virtual racism, real consequences” initiative can combat racism even a little bit, how far away is a similar movement from showing up in the United States?