6 votes

Unpopular opinion: Brands will appear far more trustworthy if they stop all this "narrative feeding"

In this post, I'm going to say something which might seem controversial, politically incorrect or even downright harsh to some of you. Feel free to let me know and express your strong disagreement if that's the case. Everyone's world view is different and I'm ever ready to adjust my own in light of new found facts and evidences.

What I'm observing these days is that many big tech companies and large corporations are pushing lot's of content on Linkedin, Twitter, etc. which conveys the idea that these companies are standing up for the rights of supposedly oppressed section of the masses (females, minorities, etc.). 8 out of 10 postings from them are typically about these, a group picture of women employees, retweets or likes of those who have posted on new joining and promotions, etc.

With all due respect, the problem here isn't with the virtues of women empowerment, etc., needless to say these are good things to be celebrated in a society. But the problem is with their approach. When 8 out of 10 posts are only on these topics, the impression or narrative being pushed becomes that the world at large is very cruel and gruesome whereas these large capitalists are the ones who are implementing just rules and ethics on that world. Do you think this narrative or story they're selling is based on any factual reality?

I've seen and experienced a fair part of that "world at large" myself and while there are indeed many problems with it and it's far from perfect, it's a bit rich of these capitalists to make that kind of narrative signaling when, in fact, they're the ones who are partly responsible for keeping it ever poor and oppressed. These companies have the highest privileges of the world and they profit out of a crony system that thrives and benefits from the gates which keep the competition away.

Now, I'm not one of those "ancap" dudes who blatantly cancels capitalism entirely. Oh no, we all do need capitalism, not only because it's a system that pays your salaries and bills but also because the alternative is much worse and we have seen what it did in Russia and Korea and China. I just wish capitalism was more inclusive and of the Adam Smithian Laissez Faire and free competition kind and less of the big tech and surveillance capitalism kind.

This constant narrative pushing by the corporates, in effect, keeps people distracted from this truly bad aspect of capitalism. The masses are gullible, they can't see it, but the people sitting at top positions in these companies should know better. What kind of society are they trying to create with this? These companies have nothing to fear. Even if the masses actually realized and start thinking about this problem, they're hardly in a position to do anything about it. The way our rigid systems are designed and work, I don't see it changing for at least decades, if not centuries. But I wish these brands stop pushing on the narrative front in the meantime. In fact, the only thing that will change is make them more trustworthy in the eyes of wise people in the society, that's what I think.

23 comments

  1. [10]
    papasquat
    Link
    This is why so many people on the left are critical of identity politics. Not because we don't think that women, black people, disabled people and other marginalized groups haven't been given the...
    • Exemplary

    This is why so many people on the left are critical of identity politics. Not because we don't think that women, black people, disabled people and other marginalized groups haven't been given the short end of the stick, because they have. It's just that it's a very, very useful tool to keep all of us oppressed.

    It costs literally nothing for a company to say that they support women, or that black people are underrepresented in their industry and they're working to fix that. It's a broadly popular sentiment that requires zero investment for them and improves their image which improves their bottom line. Furthermore, they will always come out on top of any controversy, because the kind of people who oppose that stuff are actually a pretty small proportion of the population. If they are attacked by this loud minority, they get to appear like moral paragons in comparison.

    It's useful for the establishment companies and political entities that are consistently on top of the power hierarchy, because everyone gets to fight about what specifically constitutes cultural appropriation, or what pronouns are acceptable and which ones are ridiculous, or whether or not trans people should be allowed in which sports and by which standards. The more they talk about that, the less they talk about income inequality, unionization, and actual effective climate change reduction measures, things that do hurt their bottom line. These companies will even intentionally release "edgy" material that causes a whole culture war scuffle because it gets people talking about their brand, and news cycles love it because they have something that they can talk about for days or even weeks that people have different opinions on, and thus, can have endless arguments about that never get solved because they're not based on facts, they're based on individual moral judgements.

    That fact alone makes identity politics pretty hazardous to real lasting change that makes people's lives better, but the even more insidious thing its used for is divisiveness. The left has always had a problem with solidarity and cohesiveness. It's inherited to the philosophy. Leftists don't trust dogma, concentrated power, and charismatic leaders. Its one of the strengths and weaknesses of the movement. Identity politics can be easily leveraged against them due to that fact. No matter how small a group is, it can always be divided into smaller groups to splinter movements. A leftist movement espousing class solidarity and pushing for an industry to be unionized can be coopted and put off track simply by an argument about why there are so many white men speaking at their rallies. Once that gets fixed, we can talk about why there are so few LGBT speakers. If that gets fixed, we can have an argument about what truly constitutes LGBT representation. Is one of the women speakers they have truly part of the community because she's bi but is married to a man? Does a man who identifies as heteroflexible count? What about trans representation? And so on and so on until all we're talking about is what group we're a part of, how can we best accommodate everyone's identities, and explicitly not about what we came here to do, which is the fair and equitable distribution of material wealth and raising everyone's standard of living. "The powers that be" (establishment liberals) love this, because identity politics is the one fight they get to still feel like they're fighting, and because they don't have to worry about the pesky left possibly raising their taxes and forcing them to pay their workers fairly.

    Liberal politicians that live in $20 million dollar mansions will, with a straight face, argue that they're oppressed because they're women to people who make minimum wage and can't afford healthcare.

    The whole brands adopting identity politics is a really small part of it, and there's a reason its so distasteful and gross. The worst part is the super awesome "if you disagree with us doing this you're racist" defense.

    15 votes
    1. [6]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      They're saying this because it's extremely difficult to explain to you all the reasons why you're wrong. First off, the thing you're deriding is an essential feature of politics. You will not find...

      The worst part is the super awesome "if you disagree with us doing this you're racist" defense.

      They're saying this because it's extremely difficult to explain to you all the reasons why you're wrong.

      First off, the thing you're deriding is an essential feature of politics. You will not find any country in the world that does not have identity politics because there is no country in the world that is made up of completely uniform people. I don't mean to offend you, but it comes across as extremely naive to expect people to abandon identity politics because it means that you're literally telling people to stop advocating for themselves. Should black people put up with police harassment because our healthcare system is shoddy? Should women stop talking about how they are afraid of getting raped because we don't have UBI?

      Minorities have vastly improved their lives thanks to identity politics. Ask any LGBT person over the age of 40 if their lives aren't significantly better today than it was when they were a kid. I'm not even in that age group and when I was young part of the reason why I was in the closet was because I was afraid of being beaten or murdered just for being who I was. I'm a white guy and I live in an area with practically zero black people; I'm lucky if I see a dozen of them in the crowds during any given month. But thanks to identity politics I know what their troubles are and how I can help shape society so they aren't given the short end of the stick anymore.

      Identity politics also doesn't mean that issues that do not solely affect minorities get ignored. We don't live in a zero-sum world. Nothing in the world is stopping you from advocating reforming our society while also saying that women should have reasonable access to abortions. Do you want to know why those big things don't happen? Simply because they are not nearly as popular as you think they are. Don't forget that there's a heck of a lot more people diametrically opposed to them than there are people who kinda sorta lean in that direction. By arguing against identity politics you are giving them the pass while directly batting against the people who should be your allies - which is exactly what you were criticizing!

      It seems that your problem is that you want the Left to behave like the Right does, and that is not only never going to happen, it's a death wish for any progressive ideology. What do you even think that an authoritarian and dogmatic left would look like? That's an even more splintered and divided set of parties that don't listen to eachother enough to agree to anything and therefore has no power. I mean, Christ, the very argument that identity politics is a problem is a right wing talking point! Go look at conservative parts of the internet and look how many times they complain about it!


      Look, I'm already tired of this conversation. I know none of this is going to change your mind. I know that we have a difference in perspective and I can see how you could think the way you do - I certainly don't think you're a bad person for thinking this way. But I do want you to see that it does a lot more damage than it does to unite people. I think talking about this point only helps the people we are opposed to, and that's why I'm so impassioned about it. You are right to say that the coalition of leftists is fragile, and I think that arguments like this only exist to further imperil what progress and unity we have achieved.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        Just because it's difficult doesn't make it ok to just go down the "hey, you're just racist and that's all" route. I also think you're talking way past @papasquat because you're arguing points...

        They're saying this because it's extremely difficult to explain to you all the reasons why you're wrong.

        Just because it's difficult doesn't make it ok to just go down the "hey, you're just racist and that's all" route.

        I also think you're talking way past @papasquat because you're arguing points they didn't make.

        I won't spend too much time on that, but one more thing:

        I mean, Christ, the very argument that identity politics is a problem is a right wing talking point!

        "Being a right-wing talking point" doesn't inherently invalidate something, unless you fall strictly within the bounds of what the USA currently defines as "left-wing". The greater discourse (even on Tildes, a left-leaning community) is composed of people whose opinions and experiences are all over the place, and often enough not represented by a SINGLE party. (I myself fall within a west-european "center", which is like a mix of US hard-left and some economic US-conservative policies, + a bunch of personal opinions on what US politics are like now, but who cares, those aren't the ones I vote in).

        I'll give you that the US right has fallen far enough that almost all their "talking points" are utter noise, but we can't let this define the political discourse. You yourself say you "don't want the left to behave like the right does", but calling shit out like this "nuh-huh, can't think that, it's something the Others think" is ... well.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          I was attempting to explain why the entire idea of opposing identity politics was harmful. I’m sure you could sense my frustration in that post and it’s not because I was upset at @papasquat...

          I also think you're talking way past @papasquat because you're arguing points they didn't make.

          I was attempting to explain why the entire idea of opposing identity politics was harmful. I’m sure you could sense my frustration in that post and it’s not because I was upset at @papasquat specifically but because I am frustrated at the concept he was espousing.

          I didn’t write that demonizing identity politics was a right wing talking point because it invalidates the idea. I was pointing it out because it’s reactionary, counterfactual, and hypocritical given the context of the argument. If you want to drive a wedge between your allies then bringing that up is a great way to alienate a lot of people.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            papasquat
            Link Parent
            I think you may be misunderstanding my position. I don't oppose identity politics. In fact, I think they're pretty important for improving a lot of people's lives. What I object to is really two...

            I think you may be misunderstanding my position. I don't oppose identity politics. In fact, I think they're pretty important for improving a lot of people's lives. What I object to is really two things. 1. Identity politics being the main focus of "the left", which, in the US, where the mainstream left is synonymous with the Democratic party, it is. and 2. The people that are aligned with the "mainstream left" but who aren't actual leftists (read: liberals) using it primarily not because they actually care about the people that it's supposed to help, but as a tool to neuter actual leftism.

            You say that the world isn't zero-sum, but in many ways, it is. We can focus on many things at once, but we cannot apply maximum focus on all of them. There are a limited number of dollars for campaigning, limited airtime, people have limited attention spans and limited capability to devote themselves fully to causes. When you're a politician, you need to pare down your platform to make it digestible. When you're an activist, your demands need to be concise and limited. Things need to be prioritized over one another, and while I think that things that affect a small number of people negatively are extremely important, they're not as important as issues that affect everyone.

            I think things like gay marriage, trans healthcare, access to abortion are all vitally important, they're just not as important as climate change, income inequality, and labor rights, if nothing else, because the latter three affect literally everyone, including those groups that the former issues affect.

            Furthermore, things like trans participation in sports, drag story time bans and things that aren't even policy debates like conversations about pronoun usage or cultural appropriation, while important to a small number of people, have a ridiculously huge, outsized amount of media exposure and conversation relative to their overall importance, when in reality they're honestly barely worth even talking about compared to the other issues I've brought up. These are extremely useful not only for the aforementioned liberals that want to derail any economic reform discussions, but also for conservative reactionaries, because that movement thrives on conflict, and they're all very controversial arguments that literally cannot be won with facts or data. They are and will almost certainly be never-ending arguments for decades to come that will never convince anyone of anything, but will continue to be very useful for neocons, liberals, and media companies, but will accomplish nothing for the left.

            8 votes
            1. vord
              Link Parent
              Entire political campaigns can be derailed by 1-2 even moderately controversial talking points being hammered for/against hard enough. Remember Obama was not officially pro-gay-marriage circa...

              These are extremely useful not only for the aforementioned liberals that want to derail any economic reform discussions, but also for conservative reactionaries, because that movement thrives on conflict, and they're all very controversial arguments that literally cannot be won with facts or data.

              Entire political campaigns can be derailed by 1-2 even moderately controversial talking points being hammered for/against hard enough. Remember Obama was not officially pro-gay-marriage circa 2008. I've heard enough "centerist" liberals complain incessantly about how leftists are all extremists that only think about <random identity politics issue> and thus are stupid (paraphrasing for time). And this kinda stuff pushes them to Republican voter territory, which helps absolutely nobody.

              1 vote
      2. arp242
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        A lot of times when people criticize identity politics they don't mean "politics to advance the rights or status of a certain group of people" in general broad terms, but rather "undue focus on...

        A lot of times when people criticize identity politics they don't mean "politics to advance the rights or status of a certain group of people" in general broad terms, but rather "undue focus on identity, or injecting identity in topics where it's not very relevant or not relevant at all". These are two quite different things.

        There are some people who throw "identity politics!" around willy-nilly, even when the topic at hand is about "advance the rights or status of a group of people", but that doesn't mean everyone does. It probably is a good reason to avoid using the term though, and instead being more specific (which is better in any case).

        Often times when people criticize "identity politics" what they're really saying is "I think the current strategy is ineffective and doesn't focus on the root cause, and I think I have a better strategy to solve these issues". I'm having a hard time seeing how this is racist. You might disagree with their take, but that doesn't make it racist. They're trying to be part of the solution. Even if their views are misguided, foolish, or ignorant then it's still not racist (barring perhaps a few especially egregious cases), at least not how I would use the term.

        I think these kind of conversations are critical; if you're not open to criticism and analysis from different viewpoints you run a high chance of going down a suboptimal path which would needlessly delay the solution, or even going down the wrong path altogether. To solve any problem effectively you must first understand it.

        Cognitive biases and logical fallacies are rampant around the world everywhere. Even people who at least try to overcome our flawed nature still fail many times, just less often (myself included, of course). I'm not entirely sure how I should classify "if you disagree with my view of the situation then it's racist", but I think it's essentially a cognitive bias of sorts, and when used in an argument it becomes something of a logical fallacy. What's worse is that unlike the more traditional fallacies it's also a very effective fallacy, as the mere accusation – no matter how unfounded – will scare off many people and effectively shuts them up. I think it's a very dangerous thing to throw around carelessly because if everything is racist then nothing is racist.

        All of the above doesn't mean there are scenarios where "that's racist" is a completely valid and reasonable thing to say, but here I'm mostly seeing "I think have a better way to solve this!"

        Not that I agree with everything papasquat wrote by the way, or disagree with everything you wrote; I mostly wanted to comment on the debate itself.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Oof that's a real sensitive button to push, right up there with "Is bisexuality is incompatible with monogamy?" As a man happily married to one, I have heard many rants about people answering...

      Is one of the women speakers they have truly part of the community because she's bi but is married to a man?

      Oof that's a real sensitive button to push, right up there with "Is bisexuality is incompatible with monogamy?" As a man happily married to one, I have heard many rants about people answering "yes" to these questions.

      1 vote
      1. papasquat
        Link Parent
        Believe me, as a bisexual man I've heard the most incredibly dumb takes regarding my secure, very unwavering sexuality. Regardless, the conversation, when brought up in a political context, is...

        Believe me, as a bisexual man I've heard the most incredibly dumb takes regarding my secure, very unwavering sexuality. Regardless, the conversation, when brought up in a political context, is nearly always a derailment tactic. Thinking people are stupid and being annoyed isn't nearly as big of an issue to me as not wanting more people to fall into abject poverty, die of preventable illnesses, or the entire global economy completely collapsing due to climate change.

        5 votes
    3. vord
      Link Parent
      Seperately, I do often ponder how so many organizations were so quick to pounce on hiding legal names and modifying data structures for more pronouns, but also complain about affirmative action...

      Seperately, I do often ponder how so many organizations were so quick to pounce on hiding legal names and modifying data structures for more pronouns, but also complain about affirmative action being biased against white people behind closed doors.

      Superficial progress masquerading as real progress. Remember the civil rights movements of the 60s had many radical socialist elements that were neutered early and whitewashed away later.

      1 vote
  2. mat
    (edited )
    Link
    Well, that's just your reading. I don't think that. I'd be surprised if the companies that you don't name or provide any sample 'narratives' from think that too. If I'm being completely honest,...

    the impression or narrative being pushed becomes that the world at large is very cruel and gruesome whereas these large capitalists are the ones who are implementing just rules and ethics on that world.

    Well, that's just your reading. I don't think that. I'd be surprised if the companies that you don't name or provide any sample 'narratives' from think that too. If I'm being completely honest, your reading sounds to me somewhat naive at best and full-on paranoid at worst.

    I suspect, depending on the company, their social media managers lie somewhere between being actual humans doing their best, the best way they know how, to make the world a little more equitable; and trying to look good because it sells product.

    supposedly oppressed section of the masses (females, minorities, etc.).

    Inequality, oppression and injustice are real things. There's no "supposedly" in that sentence. However brands might be using those things for their own ends, the bad things remain real.

    There's an easy fix, btw. Stop following brands on social media. I have no idea why anyone does that anyway. OK, there's like three companies I follow but that's because I like their stuff and I want to know about new products or updates. I don't recall any of them trying to convince me the world is awful and that capitalism is the only solution.

    fwiw, you might be open to claims of doing this yourself in this very post where you lay out a narrative in which you complain that people are making the world awful by pushing a narrative where the world is awful and capitalism is the only solution, while you wish for even more capitalism so.... that's a bit confusing.

    (edit: the word "you" was left out of the preceding paragraph)

    16 votes
  3. [6]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    No formula would make a corporation trustworthy in my eyes because their goals are fundamentally opposed to interests of society as a whole or me in particular. Sometimes, their need to accumulate...

    No formula would make a corporation trustworthy in my eyes because their goals are fundamentally opposed to interests of society as a whole or me in particular. Sometimes, their need to accumulate capital is tactically aligned with my desires as a consumer. But they will always employ whatever narrative proves more effective in making money flow from my pocket to theirs. The content may change but the reasoning is the same. The fact that they are now supporting worthy goals in their marketing doesn't make companies less credible to me because they were never credible to begin with. This simply reflects a change in society and the company's attempt to remain profitable in that scenario.

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      This is untrue, on average, because society is capitalistic. That's not to say that capitalism is a good or bad thing, but because society is capitalistic, corporation goals are in fact...

      their goals are fundamentally opposed to interests of society as a whole

      This is untrue, on average, because society is capitalistic. That's not to say that capitalism is a good or bad thing, but because society is capitalistic, corporation goals are in fact fundamentally aligned with the interests of society, because society is built in a way that makes these align.

      They misalign sometimes, especially when said corps amass too much power and become megacorps. And the real problem is that the ones that amass too much power end up abusing it so much, that it's all you hear or think about. But just to pick some random shit that's in my house while I type this, are IKEA's goals fundamentally opposed to society's interests? Intel's? Samsonite's?

      They have pretty specific goals, which are based on the thesis that "Consumers will like this, so we will be able to make money with it". By going after those goals, they create a bunch of jobs, and this produces revenue and work for people, as well as tax revenue for the government.

      This is all the idealized version, but where it goes wrong isn't in the goals of the corporation; it's in the personal goals of the people in charge of that corporation. That's why bigger corps have boards in fact: To keep those personal goals in check. But of course, this goes wrong too...

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        While it is true that sometimes the goals of corporations work to satisfy consumer needs, being "capitalist" is not an essential goal of most members of society, but rather a means to an end....

        While it is true that sometimes the goals of corporations work to satisfy consumer needs, being "capitalist" is not an essential goal of most members of society, but rather a means to an end.

        People want freedom, comfort, leisure, healthcare and overall fulfilling, interesting lives. "Capitalism" itself is not really a basic desire.

        Capitalism will meet and exceed the expectations of a select few in detriment of all the others. This works both within nations and on a global scale.

        That said, obviously some companies are better than others, which doesn't mean that they're fundamentally different in respect to the reproduction of exploitative dynamics that are integral to capitalism.

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          It's interesting that you define society as its individual members, whereas I instinctively define it as the structure itself that we live in. To me for example, my local city government is...

          It's interesting that you define society as its individual members, whereas I instinctively define it as the structure itself that we live in. To me for example, my local city government is "society", much more than my neighbour is.

          4 votes
          1. lou
            Link Parent
            Society is a very broad concept no? Government is certainly part of society, or at least something created to represent certain desires of society.

            Society is a very broad concept no?

            Government is certainly part of society, or at least something created to represent certain desires of society.

            4 votes
          2. noble_pleb
            Link Parent
            I think you're both right to an extent. The structures or bodies governing the people are as much important as the people themselves, especially in operational democracies where the bodies are...

            I think you're both right to an extent. The structures or bodies governing the people are as much important as the people themselves, especially in operational democracies where the bodies are typically chosen by collective action of those people themselves (electorate).

            It's just that sometimes the vested interests and political ambitions of few of those members override the collective interest of the plebs who are supposed to be served by those bodies, and they start working against them instead of for them. Only in these regions/situations, I'll lean towards the people rather than the structures in this context.

            2 votes
  4. [2]
    vord
    (edited )
    Link
    Just a note that 'ancap' is short for anarcho-capitalist, an extreme libertarian philosophy that boils down to 'wealth makes right.' I reject the notion that alternatives to capitalism are...

    Just a note that 'ancap' is short for anarcho-capitalist, an extreme libertarian philosophy that boils down to 'wealth makes right.'

    I reject the notion that alternatives to capitalism are unfeasible. It's already quite apparent for natural monopolies that having a state-managed entity is generally preferable to a for-profit one.

    The USSR is the first example of a socialist state. Not the be-all-end-all. It did things well, it did things poorly, as any state does. Would socialist Cuba be in the state it is in if it hadn't been subjected to severe economic sanctions for the majority of its existence?

    There's nothing to say that free markets can't exist within a planned communist economic system. One such method was described as planning for production, markets for consumption. Demand of goods produced over the year would influence their prices more than their supply in the short term (production target is fixed), and low demand goods would lower production targets and high demand goods would scale up.

    The biggest problems with older planned economies is a lack of information. If only there were some devices invented that could keep track of all the purchases, sales of goods, labor hours, and share that information for computation. /s

    6 votes
    1. papasquat
      Link Parent
      There's also a massive, infinite spectrum between full ancap style "there are no laws and literally anything including people can be owned" and full authoritarian tankie style "the state owns...

      There's also a massive, infinite spectrum between full ancap style "there are no laws and literally anything including people can be owned" and full authoritarian tankie style "the state owns everything, owning anything or doing anything without the state's permission is illegal".

      Between those two ideas, there are capitalist aspects of societies and socialist aspects. You could say that the United States is a socialist country because we have publicly owned roads, police, schools, power companies, trains, and so on, just like you could say it's a capitalist country because most other things are owned. It's pretty clear that both extremes don't work very well, the former being extremely open to abuses by ruthless capital owners and the latter to abuses by ruthless politicians.

      It's also clear (to me at least), that the current place the United States is on that spectrum doesn't work very well either. I don't think planned economies work very well in practice no matter what kind of information you have personally, I think economies are far too complex for any one bureaucratic agency to do an effective job managing it, but I also think that markets, especially the labor market is abusive.

      I'd like a system wherein it's illegal to employ people without giving them a stake in your company. Coops work very well, and still exist in a market where they're forced to be efficient and work well to survive. You sidestep a lot of the problems with planned economies and allow workers to control their destinies to a degree. You still can make a lot of money by starting companies, but you need to be prepared to share that money with the people that helped you make it. As the company grows, decisions regarding hiring have to be balanced against the current workers desire to give up more of their share of the company, which naturally causes these companies to settle into a nice homeostasis with regard to size instead of becoming the bloated abusive multinational corporations we have now that only exist because of their ability to exploit cheap labor.

      Combine that with nationalization of a lot of industries that are too vital to be left up to markets (health, public transit, power, police, fire, roads, national defense), and it strikes me as a happy medium.

      7 votes
  5. JXM
    Link
    The way I approach anything that a corporation does is by asking, "How do they benefit from doing this?" Corporations aren't people. They are run by people, but their whole point is to make as...

    The way I approach anything that a corporation does is by asking, "How do they benefit from doing this?" Corporations aren't people. They are run by people, but their whole point is to make as much money as possible.

    It's possible that some of the people involved in these corporations do want to do the right thing, but most of the time they only want to do what will make the most money. After all, that's the job.

    And right now, being seen as an ally is popular. It makes your brand feel progressive and attuned to societal changes. So that's why so many corporations are posting so much about inclusivity and the other things you mentioned. While I view all of those types of posts with a skeptical eye, I am glad they are happening because overall, they raise awareness of these types of issues.

    The speed at which this all happens has also dramatically increased thanks to the internet. That might make it more noticeable.

    As for your example with Unions and LGBTQ+ people...I understand the sentiment and that type of infighting can be seen distracting from the main issue but it is important to consider that LGBTQ+ people have been oppressed for decades and they're told their whole lives that "once we figure out X issue, we can come back and deal with LGBTQ+ issues." At some point, you get tired of waiting and have to say something.

    5 votes
  6. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    There's a good reason for a company to talk about diversity issues, particularly on a recruiting site like LinkedIn. Many of these companies have official diversity goals. For example, a tech...

    There's a good reason for a company to talk about diversity issues, particularly on a recruiting site like LinkedIn. Many of these companies have official diversity goals. For example, a tech company might not have a good gender ratio and they're trying to recruit women engineers to fix that. They need to sound like a place where women who care about these things would like to work. There aren't all that many women engineers graduating (apparently it's around 20% of undergrads in the US) and they're all competing for the same pool of potential hires.

    It's easy to be cynical about this sort of thing, because it's definitely intentional and official. They have staff with a mission. It's like how college recruiting brochures will usually have a picture of a diverse group of students on the cover.

    It can be done well or badly, but caring about appearances isn't a red flag in itself. But you do need to be a little wary of it and try to figure out what's real by talking to people who work there.

    4 votes
    1. EgoEimi
      Link Parent
      I see it as a pale green flag indicating general political conditions inside said company. For a company to proclaim support for the LGBT community, there has to be enough—maybe not total, but...

      I see it as a pale green flag indicating general political conditions inside said company.

      For a company to proclaim support for the LGBT community, there has to be enough—maybe not total, but enough—internal support to do so. And that's enough signal that while the company may not necessarily be super LGBT-friendly, it's at least not LGBT-hostile and that LGBT people working there can expect some baseline level of support.

      4 votes
  7. Akir
    Link
    In an ideal world we would not put up with companies using their brands to spread social justice. Not because it's bad to do so, of course, but because it's transparently fake and meaningless...

    In an ideal world we would not put up with companies using their brands to spread social justice. Not because it's bad to do so, of course, but because it's transparently fake and meaningless coming from them. To them, that's just advertising, and frankly that just feels kind of immoral to let them do that because it cheapens the message.

    However, this is not anywhere near an ideal world, and the problem with the world we live in is that the vast majority of people are incredibly ignorant and/or unwilling to understand how other people have their wellbeing at stake just because of the immutable traits they were born with. And that group of people also have a large subgroup of people who aren't skeptical of brands and are fine with anthropomorphising them. And if Betty Crocker is telling people to believe women when they talk about sexual assault, that's a good thing.

    2 votes