Sunnier Side of the Office – July 15, 2019

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"My princess."

- Beyonce when she met Meghan Markle at the "Lion King" premier in London

The Conundrum of YouTube: Harassment or Free Speech
By: Jessica Bedussi 

During VidCon, one of YouTube creator’s biggest events, much of the online conversation surrounds the platform’s unwillingness to better protect its creators from hate. 


Carlos Maza, a Vox journalist who has been the victim of alt-right YouTuber Steven Crowder for two years, recently got the attention of Twitter and YouTube after posting a supercut of the racist and homophobic comments targeted to him.

Ultimately, YouTube demonetized Crowder but allowed him to keep all videos up releasing a statement that said, “while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies.” This sparked more outrage as the channel’s harassment policy clearly defines hate speech as “promoting violence or hatred against individuals based on...sexual orientation, race, etc.”

The state of hate on YouTube isn’t something that was born accidentally. In 2012, YouTube decide to chase after watch-time rather than views setting a goal of getting users to view 1 billion hours of video a day. This meant pushing as much content as possible and altering the algorithms. Features like recommendations and autoplay pushed viewers who watched a conspiracy or hate-filled video were recommended even more extreme videos and creators like Steven Crowder gained millions of subscribers. 

Today, social media platforms are dancing a fine line of what constitutes as censorship versus safety. Will YouTube protect creators and community managers from abuse or will platforms continue to value engagement and money over safety?

Listen to the most recent episode of Reply All for an in-depth look into Maza’s story.

Instagram’s Engagement Rates on a Decline
By: Sergio Saucedo

Instagram is arguably most marketers favorite social platform given that it is the most engaged social platform of today with tremendous organic reach. However, according to a recent study by Trust Insights the average engagement that brands are receiving on Instagram has started to decline.


A possible reason for the decline on Instagram can be the rise in competition. With the number of active brands on the platform continuing to rise and all competing amongst each other for the attention of the same consumers in feed, engagement on organic content is suffering.

The decline should concern brands given that this occurred on Facebook previously (Instagram’s parent company). Like Instagram today, Facebook used to facilitate organic reach for brands; however, over time the platform became increasingly pay-to-play. Thus requiring brands to increase their paid support to reach a similar percentage of their audience. 

It is still early to determine the long-term effects of the platform’s decline, but it should definitely be something that is kept top of mind for all brand’s betting heavily on the platform.

Beanless Coffee
By: Emily Menken

Oat milk and meatless meat, once put-upon, belittled under-dogs, have officially transitioned to normal food types. The next scientifically engineered food: beanless coffee.

Food scientists in Seattle have been in the lab breaking down coffee beans with the goal to remove coffee’s acrid after-taste. The intent is to create a liquid with the “same color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel as coffee” - but better.

While the inspiration was the scientists’ personal dislike for that signature bitterness, it has also been fueled by the coffee industry’s impact on deforestation. Additionally, it’s estimated that higher worldwide temperatures will reduce the land available for coffee production by 50% by 2050. If coffee plantations no longer yield coffee, a replacement will be needed.

Looks like Starbucks’ Howard Schultz has some competition brewing right in his hometown.

The fifth annual Amazon Prime Day, Amazon's biggest sale event of the year, starts today. Amazon sold overz 100 million products on Prime Day last year and it is estimated they will generate sales of $6.1 billion this year, which a $2 billion improvement over last year.
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