People reading mean tweets is turning into a PSA genre.
Last month, the Canadian Safe School Network took Jimmy Kimmel's hit comedy bit, usually featuring celebrities, and repurposed it as a potent anti-cyberbullying ad. Now, Raising the Roof Canada has upped the ante even further with a stunning and heartbreaking spot about the homeless.
In a perfect world, it would be hard to imagine anyone seriously saying (or typing) the things repeated in the clip. But once again Twitter proves its brief format is the perfect platform for bad wannabe comics and self-absorbed asses (whereas Instagram is the favored choice of glib, blithe fashion editors).
The clip is all the more powerful given that, compared to an in-vogue issue like cyberbullying, homelessness is less visible (at least, online). This ad, created by Leo Burnett Toronto, simply put, succeeds in humanizing the homeless population, and gives at least a small handful of its members a bigger platform. For anyone interested, the campaign website has more videos delving deeper into each person's reaction, as well as some of their backstories.
Luckily, Twitter, as a company, is doing its part to address the broader issue in San Francisco, too—by planning to teach the homeless to code as part of a tax break obligation.