While the company’s system allows one to write ‘I hate gays,’ ‘I am Hitler’ or ‘I am Nazi,’ social media users find that it bans such words as ‘transgender,’ ‘lesbians’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’
AceShowbiz -Coca-Cola believes it gives away more freedom to consumers with its personalized bottles, but people are met with biased restrictions. Social media users have found that the company fails to recognize Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+.
Coca-Cola’s make-your-own label promotion lets customers write short messages on custom Coke glass bottles. While the company tries to block some slurs and trademarks, people were quick to discover that the online tool is hardly comprehensive and in some cases blocks inoffensive terms.
For example, the company’s system blocks the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” while allowing “blue lives matter.” It’s also censoring words such as “transgender” and “lesbians,” but one can write “I hate gays” and the word “transphobia” could be displayed on a rainbow backdrop. It is additionally noted that Coca-Cola includes a bottle with a rainbow for Pride Month, but the public isn’t allowed to write “Gay Pride.”
“Hitler” and “Nazi” are banned, but users can customize bottles with the phrases “I am Hitler” or “I am a Nazi.” Other words that are allowed include “jihadists,” “QAnon” as well as phrases such as “White pride” and “Trump won.”
When the company’s system blocks a word or phrase, a message pops up that reads, “Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one. Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names. We’ve worked hard to get this list right, but sometimes we mess up. If you think this is an error, please contact our Customer Care team. Otherwise, please try again, keep it fun and in the spirit of sharing!”
Responding to the complaints, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said in a statement, “We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalization tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose.” The statement continued to read, “Words or phrases that have appeared in the preview mode of the tool may not necessarily be approved, but rather are words we have not previously assessed. Actual bottles are not made with words that are inconsistent with the program’s intent. We have clarified in the tool’s preview mode that proposed language may require further review.”
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