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Image credit: Criola

Post a racist comment online, see it on a billboard near your house

Brazilian equality group Criola demonstrates the real-world effects of nasty online messages.

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Messages posted on Facebook, Twitter and other online spaces may feel like they carry less weight than things said in the physical world -- but that's not the case, argues Brazilian civil-rights group Criola. This year, Criola launched a campaign labeled, "Virtual racism, real consequences," which pulls racially bigoted comments from the internet and places them on billboards in the neighborhoods where the commenters live. Criola finds racist messages online and then uses geotag data to locate the author's neighborhood; the group then rents billboard space nearby and prints the comments for the world -- and the original writer -- to see. The names and images of the commenters are blurred out, but the message rings clear: Things said online affect people in real life, in real ways.

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