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Brief Published: 22 Jul 2020

Pernod Ricard App Makes Reporting Hate Speech Easier

Pernod Ricard

Embodying the brand-as-public-service shift previously charted by Stylus, French beverage brand Pernod Ricard has developed an app which allows social media users to report hate speech. It comes after the brand’s decision, alongside other major advertisers, to boycott Facebook in a bid to force it to do more to combat hate speech.

Once users report such content within the app, Pernod Ricard will notify the relevant social media platform, asking it to review that content and remove it if it falls within the platform’s restrictions on hate speech.

Pernod Ricard aims to cast light on how social media networks moderate content and demonstrate to users what qualifies as hate speech. Currently, platforms vary in their interpretation of what counts as hate speech and, when content is removed, often do not provide guidance around why such a decision was taken. Pernod Ricard wants other advertisers and social networks to back the app, allowing it to become a cross-industry and cross-network service.

Pernod Ricard is one of hundreds of major brands boycotting Facebook advertising during July as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, promoted by a coalition of US-based not-for-profit organisations, including the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League, which campaigns against anti-Semitism.

However, the business said that it believed that brands had a greater role to play in combatting online hate speech.

“We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of hate speech, racism and misinformation on social media platforms,” said Ann Mukherjee, chief executive of Pernod Ricard USA.

“We need more action and more people within the industry to find more solutions. Companies like ours can and should play a bigger role in problem-solving than just withholding advertising dollars. We can create tools that make it easier for consumers’ voices to be heard when they see hate speech spreading online. And that’s what we are doing.”