Brazil’s supposed ‘racial democracy’ has a dire problem with online racism

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Defiant: a demonstrator joins an anti-racism protest in São Paulo

Brazil has for years presented itself as a “racial democracy” – a land of harmonious racial relations and free of racism. This image has many times been questioned, while the murder in April 2018 of social justice campaigner Marielle Franco shed new light on the violence many of the country’s black women face. And today, a particular form of racism is increasingly on display online.

In Brazil as around the world, Facebook, Twitter and the like have become a sort of modern-day pillory for distilling varied forms of racism, bigotry, and misogyny – and Brazil’s digital public sphere is seeing a distinctive, deep-seated,...

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