Thursday November 23, 2017

Chinese Company Ad unintentionally sets off Talk on Racism

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  • A detergent advertisement by a Chinese company Qiaobi, invites criticism on the grounds of racism
  • A black man is ‘washed’ with the help of the advertised product to change into a fair, chinese man
  • Qiaobi formally writes an apoplgy statement, stating it expresses deep regret for hurting sentiments of the Black people

A seemingly simple advertisement by a Chinese company, Qiaobi, which was first released on Chinese social media in March, came under widespread scrutiny last week as foreign media fueled allegations of propagating racism against the company.

The advertisement shows a black man trying to flirt with an Asian woman, who, unimpressed by his efforts, tosses him into the washing machine to wash him with the company’s advertised product. In a short while, a fair Chinese man appears from the machine, who highly appeals to the woman, as is evident by her smile.

After the sudden attention that the ad received, many online comments surfaced, like, “It should be taken down. All in all, not only is it offensive, but the rest is a complete copy. It has really caused us Chinese to lose face’, referring to the allegation that it was copied from a similar racist Italian advertisement. A few comments, however, spoke in favor of the Chinese company, saying, “There’s no reason to apologize. Blacks aren’t part of the 56 minority groups in China, so how could it be considered offensive?”.

After careful assessment and to avoid further negative press to the advertisement, Qiaobi issued an apology statement, which reads:

On 27 May 2016 on Sina Weibo, media outlets and internet users shared American media reports with the following information: “China’s Qiaobi advertisement is accused of ethnic discrimination, incites controversy on YouTube.” Later, we verified that the ad has been reported on or circulated by American media outlets including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN; the UK’s BBC; France’s AFP, and other media outlets. It has attracted public attention in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. We’d like to express that we have properly managed this situation and would like to add the following:

  1. We have no intentions to discriminate against people of color… Ethnic discrimination is something we strongly reject and condemn.
  2. We express regret over the controversy the ad has created and do not intend to shirk responsibility. We have already stopped the ad’s circulation and have canceled several online streaming links. We hope that internet users and the media will cease sharing the video.
  3. The advertisement and the surrounding controversy have hurt people of African descent. We express our apologies, and also sincerely hope internet users and media won’t overanalyze the situation.
  4. Qiaobi is a domestic Chinese brand of cleaning products. We hope that domestic brands can continue to thrive and go global.

Written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh studies Mechatronics Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology.

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Mark Zuckerberg Wants To Sell Up To 75 Million Facebook Shares

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Facebook
Source: Wikimedia Common

San Francisco, September 24, 2017: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to sell 35-75 million Facebook shares in the next 18 months to fund the company’s work in education, science, and advocacy.

“Over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post.

He said his wife Priscilla and he feel a responsibility to do their part to address global challenges — like curing all diseases in their children’s lifetime and personalising education for every student.

ALSO READ:Social Media Giant, Facebook Introduces Ad Performance Measurement Solutions

He also asked the company’s board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify the stock that he proposed to create last year.

The idea of the proposal was that it would allow Zuckerberg to keep voting control of Facebook so the company can continue to build for the long term and allow Priscilla and him to fund the work the were doing through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. (IANS)

 

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Social Media Giant, Facebook Introduces Ad Performance Measurement Solutions

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Facebook brings the developers of 'tbh' app to share and expand a common goal of making stronger communities. Pixabay

San Francisco, September 24, 2017: In a bid to provide brands way to compare advertisements performances, Facebook has introduced new measurement solutions that will enable advertisers to see the impact of their ad campaigns on the social networking platform and TV.

Facebook, in collaboration with data measurement firm Nielsen, launched “Nielsen Total Brand Effect with Lift” solution through which advertisers can interpret their cross-platform results, the company said in a statement late on Friday.

The solution leverages Nielsen’s expertise in television measurement and its database of television programming to poll for TV ad exposure. The results are delivered independently by the company.

The product is currently available to eligible advertisers via their Facebook representative in the US and the UK and will be available in Australia by the end of the year.

ALSO READ: Facebook to take safety measures against Online Suicide Challenges

The social media giant is also working on a solution “Facebook Cross-Platform Brand Lift”, which will offer polling and results from cross-platform brand lift measurement for ads on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

The tool, which may be available to advertisers in early 2018, will also provide self-serve reporting, including that of Facebook usage during commercial breaks. (IANS)

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Listening for Well-being : Arun Maira Talks About a Democracy in Crisis, Unsafe Social Media and More in his Latest Book

Maira asserts that we must learn to listen more deeply to 'people who are not like us' in our country because of their history, their culture, their religion, or their race.

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Arun Maira
Arun Maira (extreme left), during a public event in 2009. Wikimedia
  • Former Planning Commission member Arun Maira’s latest book is titled ‘Listening for Well-Being’
  • Maira observes that physical and verbal violence in the world and on social media is continuously growing
  • He also highlights the importance of ‘hearing each other’ in order to create truly inclusive and democratic societies

New Delhi, September 5, 2017 : Former Planning Commission member Arun Maira contends that “physical violence” in the real world and “verbal violence” on social media against people whom “we do not approve of” are increasing today. With such trends on the rise, the very idea of democracy finds itself in a crisis.

The solution?

“We need to listen more deeply to people who are not like us,” said the much-respected management consultant, talking of his latest book, “Listening for Well-Being”, and sharing his perspective on a wide range of issues that he deals with.

“Violence by people against those they dislike, for whatever reason, is increasing. It has become dangerous to post a personal view on any matter on social media. Responses are abusive. There is no respect for another’s dignity. People are also repeatedly threatened with physical violence.”

He said that gangs of trolls go after their victims viciously. “Social media has become a very violent space. Like the streets of a run-down city at night… not a safe space to roam around in.”

At the same time, streets in the physical world are becoming less safe too. “Any car or truck on the road can suddenly become a weapon of mass destruction in a ‘civilised’ country: in London, Berlin, Nice, or Barcelona,” Maira told IANS in an interview.

Maira said that with the rise of right-wing parties that are racist and anti-immigrant, there is great concern in the Western democratic world — in the US, the UK and Europe — that democracy is in a crisis.

In the US, for example, supporters of Donald Trump, Maira said, believe only what Trump says and watch only the news channels that share a similar ideology. On the other side are large numbers of US citizens who don’t believe what Trump says but they too have their own preferred news sources.

“They should listen to each other, and understand each other’s concerns. Only then can the country be inclusive. And also truly democratic — which means that everyone has an equal stake and an equal voice,” he noted.

In “Listening for Well-Being” (Rupa/Rs 500/182 Pages), Arun Maira shows his readers ways to use the power of listening. He analyses the causes for the decline in listening and proposes solutions to increase its depth in private and public discourse.

Drawing from his extensive experience as a leading strategist, he emphasises that by listening deeply, especially to people who are not like us, we can create a more inclusive, just, harmonious and sustainable world for everyone.

But it would be wrong to say that the decline in listening is only restricted to the Western world.

“We have the same issues in India too. We are a country with many diverse people. We are proud of our diversity. However, for our country to be truly democratic, all people must feel they are equal citizens.

“The need for citizens to listen to each other is much greater in India than in any other country because we are the most diverse country, and we want to be democratic. So, we must learn to listen more deeply to ‘people who are not like us’ in our country because of their history, their culture, their religion, or their race,” he maintained.

Maira also said that India is a country with a very long and rich history. And within the present boundaries of India are diverse people, with different cultures, different religions, and of different races.

“So, we cannot put too sharp a definition on who is an ‘Indian’ — the language they must speak, the religion they must follow, or the customs they must adopt. Because, then we will exclude many who do not have the same profiles, and say they are not Indians. Thus we can falsely, and dangerously, divide the country into ‘real Indians’ and those who are supposedly non-Indians. Indeed, such forces are rising in India,” he added.

Maira, 74, hoped that all his readers will appreciate that listening is essential to improve the world for everyone. He also maintained that it is not a complete solution to any of the world’s complex problems but by listening to other points of view, we can prevent conflict and also devise better solutions.

Born in Lahore, Arun Maira received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Physics from Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College. He has also authored two bestselling books previously, “Aeroplane While Flying: Reforming Institutions” and “Upstart in Government: Journeys of Change and Learning”. (IANS)