People's racist Facebook comments are ending up on billboards near their homes

Racist commenters beware: Your words might show up in your own backyard.

A new campaign in Brazil is plastering billboards with racist Facebook comments. The point is not to expose anyone, but to educate people that their words have a real impact.

The campaign, called “Virtual racism, real consequences,” is using the location tag from Facebook posts to find where the offenders live. The group is then buying up billboard space in their neighbourhoods, but blurring out the names and photos of the commenters.

BRazil racist facebook commentsRacismo VirtualThe comment roughly translates to ‘I got home stinking of black people.’ ‘Preto’ is an offensive way to say black in Portuguese, compared to ‘negro’ which is neutral.

Behind the project is the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women in Brazil.

The campaign was prompted after Brazilian journalist Maria Júlia Cutinho was targeted by racist Facebook comments online. Cutinho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime time television, corrected another anchor on air in July. When another news site praised her for getting the terminology correct, Facebook commenters responded with a torrent of comments against everything from her hair to her race.

The offensive comments range from telling her to “go f’*** herself” to saying her nickname “Maju” made it clear she was from Africa.

The project is re-publishing those comments as a reminder that virtual bullying can have an impact in the real world.

“We omit names and faces of the authors because we have no intention of exposing anyone. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments,” the project says.

Racist billlboard brazilRacismo VirtualThe comment roughly translates to ‘If you showered, you wouldn’t be so filthy.’

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