Taking on the trolls: the brands tackling hate speech online

Thought Leadership
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Following the launch of our new Braving the Backlash report, Marketing Week recently ran this feature citing the results of our research and looking at the brands actively standing up to hate speech online.

Hate on social media is a growing problem, and one that’s being largely overlooked by the industry – as standard practice currently is to simply delete or ignore comments of a hateful nature, rather than to tackle them head-on. However, this method of addressing hate speech can leave those being attached feeling abandoned by the brand whose community they’ve chosen to be a part of; because sweeping the problem under the carpet does not make it go away.

This is why we worked with brands, platforms and community groups to produce Braving the Backlash – a practical user guide to confidently handling hate on your brand’s social media channels.

Throughout the feature, Marketing Week highlighted brands such as Channel 4, Nationwide, Mars, McCain, Sport England, Smirnoff and many more; who in their own way are already taking a public stance against hateful comments – both online and off.

The publication also spoke with our head of editorial, Charlie Cottrell about her role in developing the report and what it means to brands, the industry and minority groups who are coming under attach, after finally starting to see themselves represented in advertising.

Charlie commented that “ultimately brands must take this process (of responding to hate online) seriously or risk alienating the very community they want to support”. She added that “fair weather support isn’t just a bit bad, it can be really insulting to people and make vulnerable minorities or communities even more vulnerable. Brands have got huge audiences and if those audiences really stood up for marginalised voices it could have a really incredible positive impact.”

You can read Marketing Week’s in-depth feature here.