Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Cancel culture and online misinformation spell double trouble for brands

The number of people who would boycott a brand based on negative information they see online, regardless of the facts, rose from 64% in 2018 to over 80% as of 2021, according to a new whitepaper from narrative monitoring AI platform Factmata.  

The whitepaper – Making Sense of Mass Mentions – highlights the growing scale of the problem brands face with cancel culture and explores the risks misinformation and harmful content poses to brand reputation. With Twitter users now sending over half a million tweets every minute, manual data analysis is no longer sustainable. Global brands are now actively seeking new technology to solve this problem.

Using AI to identify and catch narratives in their infancy before reaching a mainstream audience can both save brands from reputational damage before it happens but also provide opportunities to establish early ownership of narratives positive for their brand. Given that more than half (58.4%) the world now uses social media, brands cannot afford to ignore the risks.

Antony Cousins, CEO at Factmata, said: “Brands are facing a double-threat: increased risk of being cancelled at the same time as exponential growth in content about them online, including potential misinformation. These risks are only increasing with time as Gen Z make up a larger proportion of their consumers and they’re much more ethically driven in their purchases. Brands are having to come to terms with manual media analysis no longer being sustainable to keep up with the volume and speed of online content.’

‘There is also a huge opportunity for brands using AI to counter these threats to drive operational efficiencies. Monitoring narratives before they break, identifying the influencers behind them and the context behind their language can drive real improvements to brand safety and reduce reliance on hours of manual labour and analysis.”

Factmata’s new whitepaper aims to help PR and marketing professionals, brands and journalists to understand how to use AI and natural language processing to monitor patterns and trends. You can download the whitepaper here.