QR codes may have risen to prominence because of their use in marketing, but the codes are famously versatile and are beginning to catch the interest of people all over the world. While consumers have become leery of the codes because of their ability to hide malicious content, they are growing more comfortable with using the codes themselves. This is particularly true in the world of sports, where fans have begun using the codes to sling insults at supporters of opposing teams.
In Turkey, soccer fans have been using QR codes for this exact purpose. When scanned, the codes usually link to basic text insults or inflammatory pictures. During a game on Monday, fans of the Karsiyaka soccer team hoisted a giant QR code banner into the air to insult the fans of the opposing team Goztepe. In Turkey, Karsiyaka fans have a somewhat violent reputation. In the past, fans have clashed with local police and their antics have even delayed games indefinitely. During this week’s game, however, fans opted to use the QR code instead of risk more trouble.
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QR codes are certainly an effective way of reaching out to people. The codes are popular marketing tools, but they are gaining traction amongst activists as a form of peaceful protest. Sports fans can use the codes for a variety of purposes, including throwing insults at other fans.