It takes just three mouse clicks to install a Google Chrome plug-in. Easy and useful to add additional functionality to this browser. The Brazilian consumer watchdog Reclame Aqui recently came up with an activist version, the so-called ‘Colour of Corruption’.
The plugin highlights in purple the names of elected politicians and Ministers of State that have unresolved issues with the law. Corrupt politicians in plain language.
Great idea because transparency is so important in a good and honest democracy. But there may also be a shadow side. When is somebody corrupt? What are the criteria? Who sets the rules? That must also be transparent. That’s why it is good that one of Brazil’s most top-tier academic institutions — Catholic Pontificia University of Paraná (PUCPR) — signed on as the project’s main partner. Now 20,000 students are being trained to track official data from all courts and update the plugin database daily.
All the official records of accusations, investigations and convictions have been collected from different instances of justice and made available in anyone’s browser. A simple mouse-over reveals legal processes the politician is facing, making all that unreachable data easily available on a list.
It works on every website, search engine, news portal and social network. Including the official profiles of corrupt politicians, who have tried to shut down Reclame Aqui’s initiative at least eight times since the launch of the platform.
Rodrigo Jatene, CCO of Grey Brazil, the agency who created the tool:
The tool was developed with a single reason: to empower the population by providing them access to official information they’d never had before and exposing the true colours of each Brazilian Politician — leaving the corrupt ones no place to hide. It is a flag from all civil society and a technological fightback against corruption and impunity.
There are 70,000 politicians in Brazil and thousands of them still get away with corruption, thanks to a complex justice system that makes it almost impossible for a common citizen to see who the corrupt politicians really are.
Maurício Vargas, founder of Reclame Aqui Institute:
This initiative is motivated by a feeling of indignation, filling a void to offer information and transparency to the people. Today, Brazilians need to be more informed, aware and vocal than ever before. We must take action and put the future of our country in our own hands ahead of the 2018 elections.
As described the plugin only covers Brazil. The idea itself is very useful in many other countries in the world.
The Brazilian Colour of Corruption plugin can be downloaded here.