Sometimes it seems that this year will not be able to surprise us with anything after the emergence of the new coronavirus, the collapse of oil prices, problems in the global economy and many other smaller troubles. Now a big scandal is gaining momentum in the United States, which, as often happens, arose due to a conflict with the police. So far, it has not been possible to pacify the crowd, and while the government is thinking about whether it is time to bring an army into the cities, large companies from Silicon Valley are changing their product policies and periodically intervening in this conflict. But should they do it? After all, even if they want to do their best, it can only get worse. As a result, everyone will suffer, including you and me.
When protests take a serious turn, there is no time to talk about who is right and who is wrong.
What caused the protests in the United States
It all started with the fact that companies began to massively cancel their events, which, albeit online, were planned for the near future. In addition, they began to intervene in the conflict, taking one of the parties. The reasoning about whether this is the right side or not, we will leave to other portals. Now we are more interested in whether IT companies should get involved in this business at all or whether they should remain neutral.
If you are out of the news field or simply do not remember how it all started, I will remind you. On May 25, 2020, during the arrest, a black guy was killed by a policeman. The method of detention was quite harsh and, most likely, this led to death. Someone will say that this is not a question of our portal. That is why I will not discuss whether the police officer acted correctly or not. I have an opinion, but this is not the place where it should be expressed. But I am concerned with protests and how IT companies react to this, getting into politics when it is not necessary at all.
Should companies voice their position on the US protests
Among those who have expressed their opinion, there are already Google, Apple, EA, Microsoft, Sony and many other smaller companies. Many of them even canceled their scheduled events for the current month. Some even said that “the more important voices must be heard.” What does this have to do with it and how the release of a new smartphone can drown out the opinion of journalists is not very clear. Anyway.
Large companies should not be so actively involved in political turmoil.
Some companies have only benefited from this state of affairs. For example, Twitter, which has become a platform for expressing opinions. He was her before, but now much more attention is riveted on him.
Of course, the complete neutrality of companies would be wrong and there is no need to pretend that nothing is happening, but even so zealous in expressing your position is also rash.
How companies should act
Don't you think that a brand should first of all do what is interesting to me and to you, as its current or potential customers? Expressing an opinion is good, but you shouldn't put so much emphasis on it if business is more important to you than politics. While this may be how companies attract more attention from potential users, they also turn a blind eye to those who expect something new from them.
When a company's protest is expressed in support of a cultural trend that is considered unpopular or just a scandalous advertising campaign, there are no questions for the company. For example, the sensational Nike ad, which caused a lot of outrage among feminists. Sometimes it’s even funny and, at least, doesn’t affect the conventional me as an end customer.
when the situation has become like this, it is necessary to call on the parties to reconciliation, and not speak out for someone.
This is how companies gain commercial success, which is often the case in our hype-oriented world. But politics is not what we want from phone manufacturers. There are especially many questions to those companies that have little to do with the United States, except for a simple sales market. There are also quite a few of them.
The desire of companies to go over to the side of the good and show that they are completely for tolerance and against discrimination seems logical, but it is enough to simply say this, and not change all their activities for the next couple of months. I'm not even talking about the fact that many of them behave this way only because it is necessary.
Even if we close our eyes to the fact that companies are canceling the events that many have been waiting for, they still should not be PR on the topic of racial hatred and the protests caused by this.
When companies invest in orphanages, social facilities, animal shelters, or simply sponsoring community service, it is good and respected. Even if they sponsor debates between government candidates. Better to express their commitment to the forces of good in this way. Taking the positive side is good, but you have to do it right.
Let's say companies show they know about community issues, but should this be reflected in the timeline for a new PlayStation 5 or a new version Android? Even the coronavirus, which has a much more negative impact on the whole world, was only able to move events offline, but did not cancel them.
In conclusion, I would like to add that looting and violence definitely cannot be encouraged and must be fought against, regardless of who is right and who is not. But the behavior of some companies in the background is very frustrating. Especially Twitter, who for some reason took on the role of a referee in this conflict, moderating people's posts, but not always objectively. And is objectivity at all possible here?