Creative in association withGear Seven

Rolling Stone Italy Kicks Racists Offline with ‘Burn Racist Gigs’ Campaign

Advertising Agency
Munich, Germany
Serviceplan Group Italia's data-draining campaign has gained the support of a number of Italian celebrities and musicians
Italy has been flooded by a deluge of racism in recent years. 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 its 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 their anti-racism policy one step further, Rolling Stone Italy has collaborated with Serviceplan Group Italia on the online campaign Burn Racist Giga: designed to target the main tool used by racists to spread anti-immigrant views online in Italy - their data connection. In an unprecedented way, the Burn Racist Giga campaign blocked the data of extremists viewing far right materials.  

Rolling Stone Italy is firmly committed to the Burn Racist Giga project. Now, in collaboration with Serviceplan Group Italia, the company reveals the concept of the project with a video featuring Italian celebrities and musicians who support this initiative including Rapper Tommy Kuti, Singer Mahmood, Fiorello, Actress Matilda de Angelis, ex-Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, Actress Carolina Crescentini, Thegiornalisti lead singer Tommaso Paradiso, Sports Broadcaster Pierluigi Pardo. The campaign has been supported by Universal and Disclosure, whose music is used in the film.

In the last few weeks, a landing page appeared online with videos containing the most viewed racist content in Italy. The mini-site was created exclusively for the Burn Racist Giga project was advertised on social media, targeting far right groups and was only available on a smartphone or tablet.

This was done in an intelligent way to prevent those who are not visiting far right online platforms from being a victim of the ruse. Internet users could only view the videos using their data connection (they could not use Wi-Fi). The videos used up much more data than standard clips and, as a result, every time the mini-site was viewed, it burned through the personal data of people viewing the racist materials.

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.

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."
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