People Who Post Racist Tweets Are Suddenly Seeing Them on Billboards Near Their Homes

Brazilian campaign takes shaming to new heights

Here's a pretty intense outdoor campaign running in Brazil, where a civil rights group called Criola is finding racist tweets online, using geotagging data to determine the location of the offenders, and printing the tweets (with faces blurred) on billboards near their homes.

The campaign, created by agency W3haus, launched this summer after an incident in which one of the country's well-known weathercasters, who is black, was the subject of racist taunts online.

The tweet on the ad above reads, "I arrived home smelling like black people." The tagline on all the ads reads: "Virtual racism, real consequences. Criola. In defense of black women."

The point of the campaign is obviously to bring "virtual" racism out into the real world, to see if public shaming offline can deter people from posting hate messages online. The catch, of course, is that people aren't actually being shamed—their identities are kept secret. Rather, the point is to "raise awareness and start a discussion," Criola says.

If the billboards make those who posted the tweets feel uncomfortable, and perhaps less inclined to post hate in future, that's an ancillary benefit. 

"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," Criola founder Jurema Werneck tells the BBC.

See more examples of some of the billboards below.

"If she bathed properly, she wouldn't get that grimy."

"A black girl named "Maju"? You can't complain about prejudice, GFY."

"GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself." 

Agency: W3haus
Title: Mirrors of Racism
Client: NGO Criola
Creative VP: Moacyr Netto
Creative Director: Moacyr Netto, Mathias Almeida
Head of Art: Carlos Pimenta
Art director: Vinicius Prego, Murilo Santos
Copywriter: Moacyr Netto, Mathias Almeida, Leo Razera
Producers: Lucas Costa, Carolina Paraiba, Bruna Marchi
Media: Patrícia Angeletti, Tais Trevisol
Agency account team: Verusca Carosio, Carolina Sanchez
Client approval: Jurema Werneck, Lucia Xavier