Braving the Backlash: How brands can stand up to hate speech online

On the 5th September at 8.30am at our London HQ, we’ll be hosting a breakfast briefing panel debate; examining the key findings from our new ‘Braving the Backlash’ report. The discussion will look to delve deeper into the topic of hate speech online and look at what brands can do to successfully tackle negativity in their online communities and marketing campaigns.

Matt Scarff, director of creative & experiences at ITV | co-chair of ITV Pride, Iain Walters, director of marketing at Pride in London, Kate Dale, head of campaign strategy (This Girl Can) at Sport England, Susie Hanlon, chief operating officer at The Mandy Network; and our head of editorial, Charlie Cottrell will offer attendees practical advice as to how brands can approach sensitive issues in their marketing, and properly manage hate speech and negativity online.

Hate on social media is a growing issue, and when the problem is examined more closely, it soon becomes clear that it affects all marginalised groups across racial, religious, gender, physical ability and sexual divides. Many companies choose to block or delete these comments, but while that might seem like a quick fix – this approach ignores the fact that, when mishandled, hate speech triggered online can have a very real, real-world effect.

Despite being in a powerful and influential position, brands and advertisers shy away from speaking out against hateful behaviour, as they often fear the possibility of backlash when trying to challenge it.

Drawing on the months of research and interviews with community representatives, brands and organisations which went into creating the new ‘Braving the Backlash’ report; the event will look to explain why all brands need an anti-hate policy, how they can create one, and where to display it online. Attendees will also be introduced to a new ‘Three Rs Model’, further outlined in the report, which aims to help brands and community managers successfully categorise and respond to hate speech online.

Throughout this session, our panel of speakers will reflect on the themes raised in the report, and – drawing on their own experiences dealing with negative backlash online – will look to share their collective wisdom as to how brands can successfully prepare for and support issues they believe in online, without having to fear the negativity that may follow.

Attendees will receive a free copy of the ‘Braving the Backlash’ report, so join us on the 5th September from 8.30am to discover more. Sign up now.