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Pernod Ricard leads charge to stop the spread of hate speech online

The CEO of Pernod Ricard USA has called on social platforms to crack down on hate speech.

Pernod Ricard USA chief executive officer Ann Mukherjee has called on the advertising industry and social media platforms to help stop the spread of hate speech online and set new standards for responsible advertising with a new campaign.Harnessing the power of collective action, ‘#EngageResponsibly‘ already enjoys endorsements from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and is supported by Salesforce and WPP.

Putting an end to hate speech

  • ‘Engage Responsibly‘ seeks to silence hate speech by empowering individuals to report any instances they encounter with a new tool which functions across platforms.

  • Brands which act to stamp out the practice and back organisations supporting communities most impacted by hate speech will earn an ‘anti-hate certificate‘ as a badge of honour.

  • An array of tools will also be offered to small and medium-sized businesses to ensure all play their part in stamping out hate.

  • As a result, it is hoped the project will illustrate how users and content which initiate hate can ‘jump‘ from platform to platform to evade enforcement.

  • The twin-pronged initiative launches in the US on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook initially, and will roll out to other platforms and international markets later.

  • In a call to arms Mukherjee said: “Corners of our social spaces are becoming toxic and unsafe, driven by the few who pollute them with hate. As advertisers, we cannot choose to take advantage of the best aspects of these social spaces while turning a blind eye to the negative, as if it is only the platform’s responsibility – or that of our industry associations – to address a problem that impacts us all.”

  • Extending efforts by GARM and ANA to improve brand safety and sustainability, the new campaign is founded on a desire to enable brands and consumer to take tangible steps to prevent the spread of hate speech online.

Is progress being made by brands and platforms already?

  • At the start of the year brands including P&G, Google and Lego clubbed together to ‘suffocate‘ harmful content by starving platforms which propagate it of advertising revenues.

  • This zero-tolerance approach has already obliged Facebook to counter a damaging advertiser boycott from the likes of Starbucks and Levis as part of the ‘Stop Hate for Profit‘ campaign.

  • Underpinning all these moves is the creation of a common definition of harmful content written by GARM.

  • To enforce this a common set of reporting standards has been created, backed by a commitment from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to independent oversight of all operations, integrations and reporting.