Racism is rearing its ugly head again, particularly in italy. It is particularly evident on social media platforms where videos, comments and attitudes expressing increasing hostility towards immigrants can be found on far right sites. Worryingly, the number of videos with racist content, xenophobic comments and hostile attitudes aimed at immigrants are on the rise, and have made social networks an increasingly toxic environment since xenophobes only need an internet connection to share their extremist views.
Rolling Stone Italy has previously taken a stand against racism with it’s iconic, Noi non stiamo con Salvini cover, a special issue to combat the anti-immigrant views of Italy’s far-right Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini. In order to take its anti-racism policy one step further, Rolling Stone Italy collaborated with Serviceplan Group Italia on the online campaign, Burn Racist Giga (Burn Racist Gigs).
In the campaign, the partners lured racists to a fake site full of popular racist videos. The mini-site, riprendiamocisubito.com, was advertised on social media, targeting far right groups and was only available on a smartphone or tablet. Users could only view the videos using their data connection (they could not use Wi-Fi). The site’s data rate had been massively increased. It burned through viewers‘ data in minutes, taking the viewers offline.
This hacktivism kept hundreds of racists away from social-media platforms for a significant period, burning through 1,741 gigabytes and, most importantly, cleaning up the Internet by taking 268 racists offline. Without their monthly data, far right extremists were not able to get back online and spew their hate with extremist comments and videos.
The concept behind the project has now been revealed in a video featuring Italian celebrities and musicians who support this initiative – Rapper, Tommy Kuti; Singer, Mahmood Fiorello; actress, Matilda de Angelis; ex-Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini; actress, Carolina Crescentini; Thegiornalisti lead singer, Tommaso Paradiso; and sports broadcaster, Pierluigi Pardo. The campaign has been supported by Universal and Disclosure, whose music is used in the film.
Alessandro Giberti, Rolling Stone Italy managing director, Digital Division, commented, “The narrative that has taken hold in Europe for months is that we are in the midst of a migratory emergency, which will provoke a social emergency followed by an employment emergency, which will become demographic and effect security, and after that who knows. In short, the narrative implies that we will be invaded in public and private space, with our economy and identity disturbed. We will be dispossessed of everything. The apocalypse is at the gates, indeed it is inside the ports, because the apocalypse comes from the sea. All this is simply the worst kind of political propaganda. The only real emergency is that which derives from this sudden clouding of thought, from the new anti-Enlightenment obscurantism. Port closures are not the answer to an emergency. However, the closure of the European mindset is an emergency in the form of racism. Faced with the return in grand style of the worst nightmares that Europe has already experienced, every action is welcome. We reject all forms of cultural appeasement.”
Agency: Serviceplan Group Italia
Partner: Alessandro Pierobon
Executive Creative Director: Oliver Palmer
Creative Directors: Pas Frezza & Luca Iannucci
Art Directors: Max Bratti & Matteo Busti
Copywriter: Vittorio Giannotti
Account Service: Ginevra Galletti
PR: Roberta Seneci
Innovation team: Lorenz Langartner & Franz Roppischer
International Communications Officer: Lee Sharrock
Web development: Marco Pietribiasi, Luca Cancelliere & Daniel Kuhnlein (Develon)
Media: Vittorio Bucci, Irene Carta & Nicola Poggi (Mediaplus)
Social media management: Michele Lorenzi & Camilla Malacarne (Plan.Net)
Production company: Oltrefargo
Director: Alessio Fava
Executive producers: Federico Mazzola & Nicolò Dragoni
DOP: Tommaso Terigi
Sound design: Guido Smider
Stylist: Giulia Revolo
Set designer: Francesco Boerio
Colourist: Daniel Pallucca
Motion Graphics Artist: Gianmarco Gaviani
VFX Supervisor: Chiara Feriani
Production Manager: Roberto Santorsola
Record label: Universal
Supply of equipment: telequale.it
Artistic Supervisor & Cast: MoveOn Milano
Performers: Gianluca Catanzaro, Michael Rossi, Agnese Acheampong, Laura Capelli & Deghi Sverzut
Choreographer: Ernald Matoshi
Client: Rolling Stone Italia
Rolling Stone: Alessandro Giberti, Davide Da Rold, Matteo Zampollo