During this “political season” where so much news is being generated by GOP and Democratic hopefuls, the worst of people seems to have been put on full display in the comments section. Racist, bigoted and xenophobic comments abound, I’ve even personally decided to reduce my Facebook activity until this wave has passed.
The world can be an ugly place and social media is among the best places to witness this up close and personal.
I recently came across an article on Fast Company:
From the article:
The campaign launched after the National Day to Combat Racial Discrimination on July 3, when many people published racist comments about well-known TV weather reporter Maria Júlia Coutinho. The goal was to “provoke a reflection” on the question “does a comment on the Internet causes less damage than a direct offense?” The organization behind the campaign is called CRIOLA, and it was founded in 1992 to defend the rights of black women.
Will it work?
It would be difficult for me to endorse this idea any more wholeheartedly. I think this is simply wonderful. However, I’m very skeptical that it will have any real impact at all, especially while blurring the name and face of the person making the comment.
At one point in time, real name policies seemed to cause people to be on their best behavior. But as social media has become more ubiquitous people have become much more outspoken about their beliefs. If people aren’t afraid to drop racial epithets in Facebook comments, I’m not sure a billboard is a real deterrent.
Behaviors change, and now it is not uncommon to see blatantly racist remarks in “normal” conversation online. At the very least, I like that anyone is attempting to address the problem.
What do you think about this idea?