UK

'Virtual Racism, Real Consequences' Billboard Campaign Is Trolling Brazil's Trolls

30/11/2015 11:23 GMT | Updated 30/11/2015 11:59 GMT

A Brazilian billboard campaign is shaming online trolls by emblazoning the racist abuse they post on giant public posters.

The 'Virtual Racism, Real Consequences' project takes comments from Twitter and Facebook and uses a geo-location tool to find out where the person wrote it.

It then hires billboard space nearby and posts the comment for all to see, albeit with pixelated names and profile pictures.

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The campaign has been running since the summer

The project is backed by Criola, a civil rights organisation run by Afro-Brazilian women.

Founder, Jurema Werneck, told the BBC: "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. They can't hide from us, we will find them."

Josh Smith, Researcher and developer at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, part of Demos, recently blogged on The Huffington Post UK about a study examining racial slurs on Twitter.

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He said: "We picked up 6.7 million tweets over two weeks - a 34 fold increase in the number of slurs used daily. This far outpaces the rise in the overall number of tweets since 2012, which has risen by only a fifth over the same period.

"We also saw a remarkable shift in the terms used. The five most commonly used racial slurs on Twitter, as of September 2015, are 'n**ga', 'white boy', 'n***er', 'n**er' and 'p**i'.

"The first of these appears in an average of 417,000 tweets per day, almost 10 times the use of the most prevalent term in 2012. The imbalance in distribution has also increased, with an overwhelming 84.5% of tweets collected containing the word 'n***a', compared to only 1.7% containing 'white boy'."