Not ok Virgin Trains, not ok
This week, Virgin Trains found themselves at the centre of social media criticism with a Tweet gone wrong and proved that within the world of brand communication and customer service, tone of voice is everything.
Following a complaint posted on Twitter by 27 year old female passenger Emily Lucinda Cole regarding misogynistic behaviour by a staff member, Virgin Trains went on to make the situation even worse…with more sexism.
The patronising behaviour from the company began when Cole was on a train from Edinburgh to London and there was a confusion regarding available seating. Cole explained to the BBC: “The first person to check my ticket was very abrasive. His response to my explaining the situation, politely and honestly, and that I wanted to complain, was, “you go ahead honey”. In the context and given his aggressive tone I can only assume he didn’t like being challenged by a woman. I wouldn’t have complained if he’d used the term in a familial or affectionate way. It definitely wasn’t that.”
Having shared her experience on Twitter, the official Virgin Trains East Coast Twitter account inflamed the issue further by asking if she would ‘prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time’. We can only assume that the person manning the social media feeds on that day considered that to be a humorous response.
Cole went on to voice all our sarcastic thoughts with her snappy response: ‘Wonderful to see that @virgin_trainsEC take complaints of rude and misogynistic behaviour seriously. Stunned. @EverydaySexism @VirginTrains’.
Virgin Trains has since made a public apology and deleted the tweet, however, for many followers of the situation, it is too little too late.
Instagram goes braless
It’s a dirty digital habit, but one we seem happy to ignore. The act of continuous scrolling through Instagram has become second nature to us, so much so that the increasing number of ads popping up on our feed may have gone unnoticed to some users… until now.
Lauren Hallden from the U.S. recently contacted the social platform stating her discontent with the rising amount of bra adverts appearing on her screen. Asking the question ‘does your company collect any feedback from women?’ Hallden says that the sponsored content on her feed was becoming of an identical type – only showing her posts of women working out in sports bras.
Her open letter raised an important issue not only on body image but on Instagram’s algorithm and how much control users have over what promotions they can ‘opt out’ of?
Whilst it’s no secret that our browsing history is monitored, and then tailored toward our likes, wants and desires surely we should have some input on what we want to see and what is not relevant.
We did some digging, and found that the answer lies with Instagram’s owner, Facebook. Users can choose to alter their privacy settings through ‘ad preferences’ and ‘ad settings’, which will then be carried through to Instagram. So the lesson to be learnt is… you can have some control over what ads are served up to you, head over to Facebook to tweak the ‘buzzwords’ and enjoy a happier scrolling experience.
If you didn’t post it on social media did it even happen?
‘No Snaps allowed’ was the policy at Snapchat’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza which saw over 5,000 employees’ party the night away at the Microsoft Theatre in L.A. with performances from global stars Drake and Diplo.
Apparently there were men dressed in silver sequined t-shirts with disco ball helmets, NFL Blitz and Beat Mania games plus an unlimited supply of champagne and mini cupcakes. So imagine the anguish they felt at not being allowed to post any Snaps of their epic night?! However the ban didn’t stop some guests ripping off the tape placed on their phone’s camera and turning to Snapchat rival Instagram to share the night with their followers.
With no expense spared – the event cost an estimated £3 million – it seems an ironic twist that CEO Evan Spiegel was determined not to let his employees use Snapchat at the party considering the app is ALL about sharing photos and video. The idea was for guests to enjoy a night ‘offline’ and be fully present in the moment however it backfired and Snapchat’s loss was Instagram’s gain. Sounds like it was one helluva’ party to us!
Post Love, Not Hate
Germany took the lead last year in enforcing strict rules on social media platforms with laws being passed that make posts containing hate speech illegal and ultimately forcing the platforms to take ownership and delete them.
From the time of the law passing to now there has been a relatively small amount of enforcement having been in a ‘grace period’ until 1 Jan 2018. Originally passing in June 2017 and going into force by October, legislators gave three months for any new internal systems and tech to be put into place. This resulted in hundreds of staff being hired by Facebook – according to the BBC.
So this new year should start to see authorities beginning to enforce these laws. A mark of social staying social to start our 2018. Post love, not hate.