Thursday July 19, 2018
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Brazil gives online racist comments bigger audience

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Racist comments: “If she bathed, she didn’t get grimy”
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Rio de Janeiro: A new campaign is giving a hard time to racist trolls in Brazil by plastering billboards in their neighbourhoods with their racist Facebook comments — thanks to a civil rights group run by Afro-Brazilian women.

The group has come up with this novel idea “to educate people that their words have a real impact”.

The campaign — ‘Virtual racism, real consequences’ — is run by Criola, an organisation founded in 1992 and led by black women.

It uses the location tag from Facebook posts to find where the offenders live. The group then buys billboard space in their neighbourhoods and puts the offenders’ comments on it, but blurring out their names and photos.

The project republishes the online comments as a reminder that virtual bullying can have an impact in the real world.

racist comment: “A black girl called Maju. You can’t complain about prejudice”
racist comment: “A black girl called Maju. You can’t complain about prejudice”

The campaign was launched in Rio de Janeiro after several racist comments were posted on social networking sites against Maria Julia Coutinho, the weather presenter of the most important news show in Brazil on July 3 — the country’s National Day to Combat Racial Discrimination.

Coutinho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime time television, corrected another anchor on air.

When another news site praised her for getting the terminology correct, many Facebook users responded with a torrent of comments against everything from her hair to her race.

racist comments: “GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself”
racist comments: “GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself”

“We wanted to provoke reflection. Does a comment on the internet causes less damage than a direct offence? For those who comment, may be. But for those who suffer it, the prejudice is the same,” says Criola on its official website.

In partnership with billboard media companies, the non-profit group put on the streets real comments posted on Facebook against the journalist.

“I got home stinking of black people,” reads one comment, while another says: “GFY dirty nigga, I dunno u but I wash myself.”

racist comments: “I arrived home smelling black people”
racist comments: “I arrived home smelling black people”

“We omitted names and faces of the authors — we had no intention of exposing the aggressors. We just wanted to raise awareness. This way people can think about the consequences before posting this kind of comment on the internet,” Coutinho says.

(IANS)

(Photos from IndianExpress.com)

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections.
Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS