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Coca-Cola pulls Twitter campaign after it was tricked into quoting Mein Kampf

Coca-Cola pulls Twitter campaign after it was tricked into quoting Mein Kampf

#MakeItHappy campaign, which used an automatic algorithm to turn negative tweets into pictures of happy things, was hijacked by Gawker

Coca-Cola has been forced to withdraw a Twitter advertising campaign after a counter-campaign by Gawker tricked it into tweeting large chunks of the introduction to Hitlers Mein Kampf.

For the campaign, which was called Make it Happy and introduced in an ad spot during the Super Bowl, Coke invited people to reply to negative tweets with the hashtag #MakeItHappy.

The idea was that an automatic algorithm would then convert the tweets, using an encoding system called ASCII, into pictures of happy things such as an adorable mouse, a palm tree wearing sunglasses or a chicken drumstick wearing a cowboy hat.

In a press release, Coca-Cola said its aim was to tackle the pervasive negativity polluting social media feeds and comment threads across the internet.

But Gawker, noticing that one response had the 14 words white nationalist slogan re-published in the shape of a dog, had other ideas.

The media companys editorial labs director, Adam Pash, created a Twitter bot, @MeinCoke, and set it up to tweet lines from Mein Kampf and then link to them with the #MakeItHappy tag triggering Coca-Colas own Twitter bot to turn them into cutesy pictures.

The result was that for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning, Coca-Colas Twitter feed was broadcasting big chunks of Adolf Hitlers text, albeit built in the form of a smiling banana or a cat playing a drum kit.

The bot made it as far as making Coke tweet the words My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duty very conscientiously in the shape of a pirate ship with a face on its sails wearing an eyepatch before Coca-Colas account stopped responding.

By Wednesday, the campaign had been suspended entirely. In a statement to AdWeek, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said: The #MakeItHappy message is simple: the internet is what we make it, and we hoped to inspire people to make it a more positive place. Its unfortunate that Gawker is trying to turn this campaign into something that it isnt.

The statement concluded: Building a bot that attempts to spread hate through #MakeItHappy is a perfect example of the pervasive online negativity Coca-Cola wanted to address with this campaign.

Coca-Cola is not the only company to have noticed pervasive negativity online. Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo wrote in an internal memo to staff that he was embarrassed by the companys failure to deal with online trolls.

We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and weve sucked at it for years, reads the memo, which was obtained by the Verge on Wednesday.

Im frankly ashamed of how poorly weve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. Its absurd. Theres no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. Its nobody elses fault but mine, and its embarrassing.

Were going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.

Coca-Cola is not the first corporate Twitter user to run into trouble over an automated bot created for advertising purposes. In November 2014, the New England Patriots were forced to apologise after an automatic bot was tricked into tweeting a racial slur from the official team account.

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How One Small State Is Forcing GMO Labeling Nationwide

How One Small State Is Forcing GMO Labeling Nationwide

When Vermont passed a law in 2014 that required all genetically engineered food sold in the state to be labeled by July 1, 2016, it likely had no idea it would force disclosure beyond its own borders.

With the deadline to comply fast-approaching, several major food producers have announced plans to voluntarily label products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, not only in the small New England state, but nationwide. 

“Food companies are being forced to make decisions on how to comply and having to spend millions of dollars,” trade organization Grocery Manufacturers Association said in a statement this month. “One small state’s law is setting labeling standards for consumers across the country.”

Unless Congressional lawmakers or a federal court intervenes, Vermont, with a population of around 600,000 — the second smallest in the country — will be responsible for a major and controversial food industry shift.

Some bigcompanies have already decided to comply with the Vermont labeling law on a national scale.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate blocked an industry-backed bill that would have preempted state laws, specifically Vermont’s, by establishing voluntary standards for labeling genetically modified foods.

While labeling advocates maintain that mandatory requirements are about a person’s right to know what’s in his or her food, the industry argues such labels would be expensive and confusing for consumers.

The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, which is among those groups that has fought to stop mandatory labeling, estimates that labeling requirements could raise the cost of food for families by up to $1,050 per year.

“The Senate is in danger of ceding control of labeling for a nation of 300 million to a state of only 600,000 people,” coalition spokeswoman Claire Parker told Reuters.

In 2015 alone, food and agricultural companies spent $101 million lobbying against labeling, according to Environmental Working Group. Roughly 10 percent of that reportedly came from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which continues to put up a fight in federal court to stop the Vermont measure from becoming law.

GMA said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post that the industry as a whole would continue to push for “passage of the federal bill that would protect consumers, farmers and small businesses from a costly patchwork of state labeling laws,” even as individual member companies are “deciding how they will comply with the Vermont law.”

Some big companies have already decided to comply with the Vermont law on a national scale. General Mills, Mars, Kellogg and ConAgra Foods are among that manufacturers that will add GMO labels to their packaging.

ROBYN BECK via Getty Images
Labeling advocates maintain that mandatory requirements are about a person’s right to know what’s in his or her food, but the industry argues such labels would be expensive and confusing for consumers.

Jeff Harmening, executive vice president and chief operating officer of General Mills, said a statement that while the company continues to support a national standard, the Vermont law requires that it start labeling certain products or face significant fines of $1,000 per day for each product.

“We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers and we simply will not do that,” he said. 

Mars spokesman Edward Hoover said in a statement emailed to HuffPost that the company is working to amend the labeling of all relevant U.S. products, and that its decision to do so is “in response to consumer desire to know when GM ingredients are being used in products.” 

Hoover wouldn’t say how much the undertaking would cost the company, but if the photograph below is any indication, we could expect to see messages like “partially produced with genetic engineering” on a lot more of our every day products.



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Building Trust in Business

Building Trust in Business

building trust in business chris bloor
Building Trust in Business [part 1]

You are going to discover the shocking truth about how to influence people by simply tapping into a secret, little-known and rarely understood power.
This power is available to anyone who desires it strongly enough.

You don’t have to be rich or smart or handsome/beautiful for this power to work its magic in your life.

Please be warned that what you are about to see and understand is possibly unlike anything you have ever encountered in your life until now.

In fact, regardless of your current social status or financial position, despite anything and everything that has happened in your life up until this point, this changes everything.

Because it is a power so strong that it literally transforms the lives of literally everyone who it touches – leaving an indelible mark on them.

Touch this power and you will never be the same again.

Tap into it and a whole new world will open up for you.

You have probably heard soldiers speak about their first time in battle or a mother talking about the moment she gave birth and held her child for the very first time.

They use words like:

“I knew deep in my heart that my life was never going to be the same again”

“Something changed deep inside me and I saw the world differently from that moment onwards…”

“It changed everything – my priorities – my relationships – my dreams and hopes and goals suddenly had a greater clarity than ever before. It was as though I saw what really mattered in life”

And if I do my job right in this series, you my dear reader, will at least have a greater understanding of what this power is and… some of the ‘specific steps’ that you’re going to have to take in order to tap into it.

At least that is my fervent hope and heart felt determination.

And of course, I am talking about…

==> The Power of Trust

These last few years, especially with the advent of social media (and all the transparency that inevitably accompanies it) a huge and ‘unstoppable’ paradigm shift has started to occur in the entire business marketplace worldwide.

We can sum up this change in just five short words:

“Trust is the New Currency”

[Continued in Part 2]

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