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Pernod Ricard plans crowdsourcing app to tackle hate speech

Jameson whiskey’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, has announced plans to develop an app that will enable consumers to confront and remove hate speech on social media platforms.

Berlin, Germany – 05 21 2016: Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp etc.

The French spirits giant said today (2 July) it will create a crowdsourcing app that gives consumers and those affected by hate speech on social media the power to identify and report content they find objectionable directly to brands and companies.

Once an example is flagged up, brands can leverage their own influence on social media to help ensure the content is reviewed and, if necessary, removed.

The company said in a statement that the app will help consumers and brands work together to “drive real change”.

“The world is waking up to the reality that we all have a role to play in stopping the spread of hate speech, racism and misinformation on social media platforms,” Ann Mukherjee, chief executive of Pernod Ricard USA, said.

It comes after six campaign groups called on Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the network during the month of July. Drinks companies Diageo, Brown-Forman, Beam Suntory and Britvic are among those who said they would suspend their social media advertising this month in solidarity with the campaign, which has been called Stop Hate for Profit.

The organisations included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League, Colour of Change, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Common Sense and Free Press.

“There is a long way to go. Movements like #StopHateForProfit are demonstrating that brands and consumers want them to take more urgent action.”

This is important, and it is why we are joining the movement for the next 30 days across all paid social media platforms, not just Facebook.

However, the company said pausing social media advertising budgets for one month is “not sufficient” for making sure hate speech is removed from platforms.

“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.”

Pernod Ricard’s chairman and global CEO, Alexandre Ricard said the app will provide an “additive resource for individuals affected by hate speech, consumers, brands and social media platforms themselves in the global fight to end these injustices.”

“As creators of conviviality, our mission is all about sharing with respect and responsibility, bringing people together to celebrate the moments that make life worth living, not to divide, deride or tear people apart. Social media platforms share that mission, but there is still a collective work to make those platforms safe, responsible and convivial for everyone. Let’s then join forces to focus on a positive solution together.”

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