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Jul27

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Kristen Bell surprises Frozen fan and woman shakes off the haters on instagram.

Likes

Kristen Bell, actress and all around lovely person has now given us another reason to think she’s one of the loveliest people on the planet. She heard about a little girl called Avery who is suffering with an inoperable brain tumour and decided to do something wonderful for her. Kristen is famous for voicing Anna from the all time biggest Disney film, Frozen, and 6 year old Avery is a big fan of said film. Kristen sent a recorded message to the little girl in character as Princess Anna praising her for how good and brave she’d been. She also said that her sister, Queen Elsa, had decided to crown her an honorary princess of Arendelle, which is where Anna and Elsa live and rule. To make the message extra personal she mentioned Avery’s favourite toy, Hoppy Jumpy, her bunny. Her reaction to the call is completely adorable and hopefully brightened her day. It’s always great when celebrities take the time to give back to those who need it.

Fails

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People can be so mean. Especially on Social Media. A woman has been forced to defend herself online after cruel commenters bashed her weight loss journey. Some were saying they didn’t believe that she’d actually lost that amount of weight and that she was lying about it in her photographs. Many said it was definitely not her because she didn’t have any stretch marks or excess skin from her weight loss. Definite fail.

So obviously, she proved that it was her by posting a photograph of her excess stomach skin which she had been ashamed of until that point. Many were appreciative of her sharing the picture saying that it was very honest and open of her and that it was helping them on their own weight loss journeys.

The woman has since been surprised that her story has gone viral, but glad that her bravery in showing her skin has affected people in a way she had never imagined. As Taylor Swift says, Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.

 

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by Helen Stirling

May22

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 22nd May – Kent Earthquake reactions and Oddschecker AU Fail

Likes

There was an earthquake in Kent last night, in case you hadn’t noticed the furore on Social Media this morning. There are people cracking jokes about the earthquake which surprisingly hit 4.2 magnitude on the richter scale. The internet went meme crazy posting pictures sarcastically about the effects of the quake. Pictures such as a lawn chair falling over, a broken gnome and bananas that have fallen off their hanger. Now I’m not too judgemental, but these memes have been used before for similar situations, like when it was super windy here.


Fails

A large betting company in Australia has had to check their tweeting today after the posted a rather cruel jibe at a professional footballer and his girlfriend. The company posted a photo of the couple along with the mean tweet which said: ‘Sure she’s a lovely girl but someone needs to remind James Wilson that he’s a pro footballer Start abusing this privilege’. People were quite obviously outraged at the the tone and suggestion of the tweet, and the account received tons of hate spewed back at them saying that it was disgraceful. The offending tweet can be seen below. The tweet was removed after a few hours with a simply apology tweet.

There are obviously many worse things posted on Twitter everyday but if you are a brand trying to uphold an image then it’s best to not post something that feels too controversial. If you notice a tweet gaining traction for whatever reason then closely monitor it and its sentiment so it can be removed swiftly if need be! This is one example where the post snowballed up so much that loads of people saw it and took offence. Don’t let it get that far.

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by Helen Stirling

May19

Social media plays a key role in promoting road safety

We all know just how powerful social media can be. It has the ability of spreading a message, positive or not, in a matter of seconds. But what about when we consider sensitive or serious messages? Is it a good medium to use to address these issues, or is it just opening the flood gates to abuse even when a brand or organisation means well? This morning, I’ve read two news items about how organisations in the UK and USA have used advertising and social media to help promote the importance of road safety. One, I assume, will be received well by the public. However, the other has already suffered huge backlash as opposers take to the social-sphere to rant their concerns. Let’s delve a little deeper.

The Isle of Man’s Constabulary has today launched this year’s TT road safety campaign, which will see social media take the lead in helping to deliver key messages during the festival. Using its Twitter feed, @tweetbeatIOM, the organisation will provide a mixture of up-to-date information about road safety and traffic updates using #SafeSummerRidingIOM, #ShareTheRoadIOM and #IOMTT. The campaign builds on its poster campaign from previous years which aims to reduce the number of accidents that occur during the festival. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this one and see how it pans out.

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Now, when it comes to billboard advertising we have seen a few hiccups. Firstly there was the Hell Pizza angora coated billboard which was launched to promote the New Zealand company’s Easter special. We can all be sure that one didn’t go down to well with animal right activists.

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And then there was this billboard fail. Need I say anymore?
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But the Colorado Department of Transportation is already getting backlash for a seemingly innocent billboard campaign. To promote seatbelt safety, the CDOT put up billboards with partial information to tease out its messages, featuring phrases like, “Life or Death”, “Brain Damage” and “Windshield Ejection”. Yesterday afternoon, a seatbelt was added, covering up the second word of each phrase with the strapline, “Buckle Up. Seatbelt Enforcement Is On.”
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Over the weekend, before the seatbelt was added, the CDOT posted a picture of the advertising on its Facebook page, asking its audience to keep an eye out and what they thought about it. Hello open flood gates. Within minutes there was an uproar. People seemed to think that instead of investing in this poor advertising, the CDOT should have spent the money on repairing the roads and potholes – which cause accidents! Others questioned the use of billboards all together when it comes to road safety, stating that they’d rather keep their eyes on the road – fair point.

 

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the CDOT got it wrong, as the billboard has sparked conversation and debate, pushing its message out further. And as a channel, where better to promote road safety? Talk about knowing where your audience is. But I guess what is key here is that when approaching a sensitive subject such as road safety, it’s important to consider 1) Can the message be misconstrued in any way? 2) If it can, how will you deal with ay negativity? and 3) Will this do more social ‘good’ than ‘bad’?
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by Kalli Soteriou

Jan05

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 5th January – Reddit success and Netflix blocking

It’s the New Year and we’re back with a brand new, 2015 edition of Likes and Fails!

Likes

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 Reddit have had a very impressive year, and continue to grow despite a large number of people I know saying ‘I don’t get it’ about the site. A statement I couldn’t disagree with more. I get it. I can’t leave it alone. Well, I can, I’ve become less and less of an addict over the past few months, just checking it a couple of times a day at work to watch out for the next big thing online. The site is often the birthplace of the next big thing online, whether it be a viral video or an AskReddit thread, which becomes massive a few days later when it’s regurgitated on to Buzzfeed.

So, on to the news, it’s been reported that Reddit had a whopping 71.25 billion page views over the year of 2014. The information, handily encapsulated into a colourful infographic, tells us other facts about the ‘front page of the internet’s’ yearly activity. There were a whopping 535 million comments posted on Reddit articles, photos, posts and nearly 400,000 new sign ups to the site from 195 different countries. This proves that it really is growing globally. There were 5.7 billion votes made on the 54.9 million posts made to the site.

Reddit isn’t going anywhere soon, apart from up.

Fails

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All you Netflix loving citizens should be concerned, well according to the UK’s online media sites anyway. If you’re one of those who enjoys accessing the global Netflix catalog via questionable means, VPNs or proxies, then you could be in trouble, in the foreseeable future. The developers at Netflix seem to have found a way to block certain VPNs and proxy servers on the Netflix app, which is preventing certain users from accessing the content from a different country.

People often opt to use VPNs and proxies so that they can access new and different content on the app. This is because each county offers a different selection of content, rather than Netflix having one library of shows across the world. So there is clearly a desire for a greater selection of content.

There has been a call for Netflix to crack down on this before from film and TV production companies/studios who are concerned (well clearly, about their money) but also that it allegedly harms regional broadcast agreements.

At the moment it is only affecting certain blockers and proxies so you might still be ok for now, but it is definitely something that Netflix are going to focus on more in the future.

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by Helen Stirling

Oct01

YouTube vloggers and the current sexual allegations.

You may have heard recently about the online backlash regarding a certain YouTube Vlogger called Sam Pepper. Now following these incidents with Sam Pepper and girls who felt targeted and harassed by him, a whole dark side of the YouTube vlogging community has come to light, we’re going to take a look at what has happened and the implications it might have on the community.

Sam Pepper

Sam Pepper released a video online the other day which he called a prank and saw him tricking women and pinching their bottoms when they were not looking and without consent. This is of course consider by lots of people to be sexual harrassment and many outspoken people including other prominent vloggers pressured Pepper to remove the video. Soon after, the video was removed and Sam put up an apology video claiming the stunt was just a social experiment and that he was trying to draw attention to male sexual harassment issues. He backed this up further with another prank video with the roles reversed.

Laci Green’s petition

After the first video went online another popular vlogger, Laci Green, noticed the video and understood the videos’ inappropriateness, and asked people in a new video to sign a petition against the video and generally Sam Pepper’s treatment of women, along with the prevention of any other prank videos with sexual harassment themes. She also takes a look at other YouTuber’s channels and discusses how they are treating women in an inappropriate way. She asks women and men to speak out and say that these things are not okay.  She also says that you should report videos if they are offensive or treating any people in a demeaning way. She also talks about allegations (which I may note are not yet proven) that girls, including underage girls have been sending letters or releasing videos talking about when they have been sexually harassed or in one extreme case, raped by a prolific male YouTuber.

Backlash and allegations

Since this whole issue was brought to light with the Sam Pepper video many young women and girls have come forward to say that they had been harrassed by either him or other vloggers within the youth YouTube vlogging community. These claims have not been backed up with hard evidence yet, and only one of the women involved has said she intends to press charges against Sam Pepper, though others have reportedly said they are not pressing charges because of backlash they might receive online. One particular vlogger, Dottie Martin said she went to the cinema with Sam on a date and had to repeatedly push his advances away when he kept trying to get more and more sexual. there have also been numerous (again, unconfirmed) claims from women that Pepper had sent them messages asking for inappropriate photographs, one woman said she was 15 at the time he pushed for such photos and she has released screen captures of the conversation.

What it means for the community

This topic has blown up online, and it was around the time that Emma Watson’s speech about feminism and the treatment of women at the UN also went viral online, which suggests that the fact the topic was very much in the public eye has helped push forward the fight against these young male YouTube users who are abusing their position, especially with vulnerable girls online. I think the topic’s widespread reach will help to make sure prank videos are thought about in advance of them being made, and that we’ll see a reduction in the harassment in the making of these videos. At least that’s what should happen, especially if people keep speaking out on this issue, which many have been silent about for too long.

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The backlash has ruined Sam Peppers career, probably forever, many are unsubscribing from his channel, there of course are rumours that he will be arrested or charged with harrasment. His ‘network’ have dropped him in light of the allegations, this is the agent which helps him run his YouTube channel and I assume helps him to get paid. He has also been banned from VidCon which is a big YouTube vlogger meet-up.

There has been so much discussion surrounding this topic since Pepper’s initial upload of his prank video, that it suggest that the community does not want to stand for this type of treatment, whether it be female or male harrassment. They are now confident in speaking out about it being not okay, which suggests that prank videos are more likely to find themselves being reported, if there is a theme which sees people being harassed. It will be in the forefront of people’s minds and they will find themselves noticing these sort of themes in prank videos which they may have not before.

It’s hard to see how any good could have come from this situation, but the fact that men and women are becoming less afraid to speak out if they’ve been abused, as well as the fact that people are now standing up to what they think is wrong, in this case, in videos on YouTube, has got to be a positive move forward.

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by Helen Stirling

Sep29

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 29th September – Potato Salad Kickstarter part happened & 1000 coffees experiment

Here are today’s Likes and Fails, today we’ve looked at the Potato Salad party that took place over the weekend in America, you may remember that it all got started on Kickstarter. We are also taking a look at 1000 coffees, an experiment a guy is doing, having one on one meet up with all his Facebook friends.

Likes

potato salad guy

You may remember the guy who raised an extortionate amount of money on Kickstarter to make a bowl of potato salad, well he has now held the first official potato party, and it was held in Columbus, Ohio. The party, named PotatoStock, which happened over the weekend, was thrown with the $55,000 he raised, after initially only making a target of $10 on the website. In the end sponsors donated the 3,000 pounds of potatoes for the event and local food trucks and restaurants provided food, including their best potato based recipes.

Also at the event was live music, potato sack races, (of course) as well as the potato-ey food goodness, and a few beers were available too! The proceeds of the event, which are yet to be calculated are to be donated to charity, along with $20,000 the creator (Zach Brown) has already donated to a fund that he has set up with the Columbus foundation which will help provide food for the hungry as well as helping to deal with homelessness.

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Obviously there were around 7,000 backers of the potato salad campaign, and Zach has said that those backers can expect to receive their incentives by December this year. This includes T-Shirts and recipe books. He has also said that some of the proceeds fro the event will go toward setting up a website which will share funny content, but will probably not all be potato related!

Fails

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One guy with one mission, is attempting to meet up for coffee with all of his Facebook friends in real-life, he has 1,000+ of them! The point being that he was going to cut down on his Facebook firends but then he thought he’d see if he could actually meet up with these ‘friends’ for coffee then it would be a good reason to stay friends with them. The man in question, Matt has so far met up with 23 friends for coffee. The resulting photographs look weirdly awkward, though I suppose that’s expected for friends you don’t know as well. The reason I’m putting this down as a fail is that I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of someone doing an ‘experiment’ like this before and it doesn’t really rank highly in the originality stakes.

I do like the sentiment behind the gesture, actually meeting up with your Facebook friends and having a real-life conversation, but I don’t know if it warrants the coverage it’s getting on Buzzfeed. If you want to take a look though you can see the blog of his progress here.

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by Helen Stirling

Sep02

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 2nd September – YouTube launched fan funding feature & FBI investigates celebrity nude photo hack

Here are today’s Likes and Fails, we’re taking a look at the new YouTube fan funding service and taking a look at the fact that the FBI are now investigating the celebrity image hack from yesterday.

Likes

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YouTube has launched their crowd-funding feature that was spoken about earlier in the year. This feature allows fans to fund their favourite channels by donating to the creators in the hope that they will create more videos and content.

Creators up until this point have not been making much money on YouTube, only small amounts from advertising revenue. There had been a secondary funding option from an outside site that many users have been using called Patreon which was not only used for YouTube video creators but for others working in the arts. This generally works as a monthly payment, with people helping ongoing projects from creators.

This new YouTube funding feature allows one off donations, which of course you can do more than once, but this shows it is slightly different to Patreon’s services where you can fund ongoing or singular projects. The choice to donate is shown on YouTube as a little annotation in the top left corner of the video you’re watching, if it’s accepted on that particular channel. If you hover over this icon they it will reveal a banner asking for support. If you click on this banner you’ll be taken to a page or pop-up which will ask how much you wish to donate. You can also donate from a ‘support’ button on a users’ channel page.

The good news for publishers is that this new feature will work on the mobile app as well as in desktop browsers, so people can donate anywhere they watch your videos. Now obviously there has to be a slight catch here, and that is that YouTube will take a cut of what people donate to you, currently about 5%, but it does vary from country to country.

The fan funding feature is currently only available in Australia, Japan, Mexico & United States of America.

Fails

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I would be surprised if you didn’t ear about the large hack that happened yesterday, well the latest news is that the FBI are involved. In a major violation of privacy, hundreds of intimate and nude photographs of celebrities were stolen after they had been uploaded to Apple’s cloud.

The internet went into a bit of a spiral, with many trying to re post and share the images, but also many speaking out and standing up to the invasion of piracy, stating that it was a violation and people should avoid the images, and think about how they would feel if they were in the same position. The hacker who is still yet to be found, used the forum 4chan to expose his findings.

After reports from the celebrities and their representation to law enforcement, the FBI have been called in to investigate. A statement from the FBI in Los Angeles said: “The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals and is addressing the matter,”.

Some of the celebrities involved in the hack have spoken out about the matter, mostly with simple tweets. Kirsten Dunst simply called iCloud a ‘piece of shit’ in emoji form. Whereas Mary Elizabeth Winstead, another actress said that she had taken the pictures in the privacy of her home with her husband years ago. Laying on the guilt for anyone that had seen the images.

I think what we can get out of this is that Apple should really be more clear on their iCloud, because it’s clear that many people don’t know their images are being backed up to the cloud, which is what has lead to this invasion of privacy.

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by Helen Stirling

Aug27

A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 27th August – Hyperlapse from Instagram & Self-censoring online

Here are today’s Likes and Fails – today we take a look at Instagram’s new app Hyperlapse as well as looking at the rise in online self-censoring on Social Media sites.

Likes

Hyperlapse is a brand new app from Instagram launched yesterday. The app arrived initially without much fanfare, mainly as there had been no word of this app before it’s launch. The news of the apps launched arrived a mere two hours before it actually arrived in the Apple app store.

The app is a video sharing app which can turn your video clips into ‘hyperlapse’ videos, which gives a cinematic feel to the videos. Much like quick sequences you see in films when moving from one place to the other, this app now allows users to create the cool same effect without all the expensive equipment. Basically the app has built in stabilizing features which create the smooth moving effect in the finished videos. To use the app you only have to press the record option once and then press it again to stop recording. You can either play the video back at normal speed or create the hyperlapse at up to 12 times its original speed. You can then save the video by clicking the green check mark, and from there share the video.

This is a n exciting new development from the Instagram team, as many were focused on the launch of bolt – the Snapchat competitor – from them, but they surprised everyone with the launch of a completely different app with some really interesting technology involved.

We can only hope the delay whilst the make it available for Android is not too long, as currently it is only available for Apple devices.

Fails

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There are reports today that surveys have shown that users on Twitter and Facebook are increasingly self-censoring themselves regarding controversial topics. The study looked specifically at the fallout following the Edward Snowden leaks and peoples willingness to talk about the topic. A large majority of Americans, 86%, said that they were open to talking about the leaks and the impact of the government intrusion on privacy but only 43% said they were comfortable about talking about it online on Facebook and even less, 41%, said they would discuss it on Twitter

The survey also found, that people were more willing to share their thoughts on the case if they thought their audience would agree with them. Which is not really surprising. Though the report also suggests that people were less likely to share their opinions offline if they thought that their online friends and followers would disagree with their opinion. This displays a crossover between the two worlds which may mean that important information is not being shared between mediums and that the censoring is passing over into in-person contexts. Though this was not definitively shown in the survey, though it was suggested by the data received.

This is an interesting look at self-censoring, which we probably encounter daily online. I know personally I’ve had an opinion on a topic online but have not shared my opinion for fear of getting involved in an online argument which I did not want to deal with. I think this fear of ‘online confrontation’ is what leads us to shy away from sharing our opinions online. It is a lot easier for someone to counter your argument online, sometimes in an aggressive way, without any lasting backlash. Whereas if the same confrontation happened in-person there would definitely be some sort of lasting message, whether it be law enforcement of just the fact that the relationship with the person was ended.

 

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by Helen Stirling

Jul29

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 29th July – #AskLamps & Facebook’s Bolt

Hello, and welcome to today’s Likes and Fails where we look at some funny Twitter trolls for once and the trademark issues are having with their potential new app Bolt.

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Frank Lampard has discovered the world of ill-conceived hashtags, and rather than people being mean, this has been a rather funny hashtag to follow. Frank Lampard recently signed to New York city football club and was hosting a Q&A for his move there. Obviously some fans asked him legitimate questions about his move and how he felt his football style would fit in with the Major League Soccer style of play.

The hashtag was #AskLamps, which could quite clearly take on a new meaning, and it did for some opportunist pranksters. Have a look at their light’ themed tweets below. I only wish Lampard had had a bit of a joke with them and answered one of them.

 

Fails

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Last week we saw that a potential new Instagram/Facebook owned app might be released soon, and this app is currently called Bolt. Now there seems to be a few issues with the app being called Bolt. No it’s not because of the Disney film bout a superhero dog, it’s because there’s actually already an app called Bolt out there.

Instagram’s version of the app is reported to be some sort of photo messaging app whereas the app already in existence is a mobile communications app whose premise is to replace the need for a mobile carrier’s voice and text plan. Obviously the owners of the first Bolt are not best pleased at the news there may soon be a Facebook owned app of the same name reaching the market. The current app owners have applied for a trademark of the name but the application is currently still pending.

What is also interesting is that Facbook and Instagram seem to be determined to get into the instant picture messaging app sector, with the recent release of Slingshot, the adding of direct messaging within Instagram, the buying of WhatsApp and the attempt to buy Snapchat itself. Which sort of begs the question, will they continually make new picture messaging apps until one hits?

I think Facebook need to admit defeat here, and realise that they already own WhatsApp which has strong picture messaging capabilities already and is really popular.

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by Helen Stirling

Jul25

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 25th July – Reddit secret diary & Pinterest inequality

Here are today’s Likes and Fails! Today we look at a secret diary two redditors kept up for a year on the comment section of an old post. We also today saw the gender diversity figures from Pinterest and they’re having the same issues as Twitter announced yesterday.

Likes

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 Reddit has been the home for some secret diary keeping over the course of a year. The two redditors met on a bit of an  interesting post from a man who had slept with his own mother and was hosting an AMA. In the comments section they somehow decided to become pen pals after some banter and this led to an impromptu diary within the comment section of the thread. From there the year long journal began. the first post was from user ‘portablebook’ and was posted on May 20th 2013. It was fairly mundane with some mention of computer games and redditing:

“Not much happened today, planted some flowers in the backyard, tended to my chili garden, played a few hours of DayZ, spent alot [sic] of time on Reddit, listened to music and studied for exams.”

User ’clicktoaddtitle’ responded with:

“I had a big test in school. That’s pretty much it. I might play some videogames later.”

You can see where this is going, the pen pals wrote back and forth to each other for one whole year until it came to a close earlier this year.

Some highlights were when two weeks in to the journal, one of them had an epiphany and realised if they ere to die tomorrow all they’d have to show for it was computer gaming.

The comment thread was somehow noticed by a user on Reddit and they shared it to the best of subreddit, and since people have been enjoying reading an insight into two strangers lives.

Fails 

Pinterest-ethnicity

So yesterday we told you about the stats Twitter released and that less than a third of their global workforce was female, and we also said that as a Silicon Valley tech giant it wasn’t alone. Google, Facebook and Yahoo! all reported similar numbers. Bringing questions about diversity and ethics to the forefront. Now today another giant has released their diversity figures and it’s a very similar case, though this tie it’s surprising as that company is Pinterest. We all know that Pinterest as a site and app is female dominated, with much of the site being used for women’s fashion, wedding planning etc…

A whopping 81% of Pinterest’s leadership roles are held by men and 79% of their tech roles are also held by men. This shows a huge gender gap in the amount of men and women working for the company. There is however one sector where the women outnumber the men and this is the business side of things. There are 66% women in this sector.

Again as we mentioned   yesterday the gender issues are not the only ones in these large tech companies. Pinterest also has a lack of ethnic diversity in their workforce too. 92% of their workforce is either Asian of Caucasian, another figure which the company realises needs sorting. They said

“While we’ve made some progress in diversifying gender at the company, we haven’t done as well in representing different ethnicities, and we’re focused on getting better,”.

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by Helen Stirling