I hosted the “Business and Advertising” panel of HostYle Words, the event in Trieste that presented the program to encourage non-hostile communication on the social media.
Even if social media ‘has given the right to speak to legions of imbeciles’ (Umberto Eco), they are a resource we are not willing to do without.
To get rid of hostile words on the social media, we don’t ask for changes in the algorithms and we don’t invoke the intervention of regulators or censors. The change we hope for depends on us, without any intermediary. It’s up to us to choose our words with care.
When is our language respectful and inclusive? The project engaged a multidisciplinary community of over 300 people, including journalists, managers, politicians, PR and university professors. More than 1000 people attended the event, which was opened by the President of the Italian House of Representatives, Laura Boldrini.
According to the Italian research company SWG, immigrants, women and LGBT people are the main targets of hate online. The Toniolo Institute presented results of their research about fake news; 87% of young people don’t trust the web, but 3 in 10 share fake news even if they know it’s fake. Brands can adopt an aggressive communication style on the social media to go viral, but lots of them decided to promote inclusion in their ads, instead.
The stories of companies that decided to fight against hate speech are rich with valuable results in terms of brand awareness, reputation and sales. Even when hate speech on the social media is adopted by high-level politicians, brands like Nike decided to position themselves as inclusive. Many ads aimed at opposing walls and hate speech, whatever the source, were shot and shared during prime time.

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