By Benjamin Haslem
Over the past 24 hours two major social media faux pas have drawn widespread public attention.
One for its insensitivity to loved ones of car accident victims; the other for creating the impression that white skin is better than black, inviting the obvious allegation of racism.
Both, again raise the question: What can organisations do to minimise social media crises?
The first blunder, was a tweet by New Zealand police using a GIF of Michael Scott from the US television series The Office to convey how officers felt when telling people that their loved one had been killed in a motor vehicle accident.
The second “social media fail” was skincare brand Dove’s Facebook video ad run in the US showing images of a black woman taking off her brown t-shirt and turning into a white woman in a white t-shirt.
The white woman then removes her tee and morphs into a third woman, with a darker complexion than the second.
The social media rebuke was swift, with comparisons made between the ad and those run in the US in the late 19th century of a black child pictured in a bath tub while a white child offers him a bar of soap. After using the soap, the black child looks delighted to see that his skin has turned white.
Dove immediately apologised for having “missed the mark” with the Facebook ad.
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?