As protestors continue to expose America’s history of racism and speak out on the continued police violence against black people, brands are seizing on the moment to use the Black Lives Matter movement to raise their visibility. Even in the midst of death and chaos, companies can still be counted on to prioritize their bottom line. But not all virtue signaling lands equally: One brand that looks particularly stupid trying to boast their alliance to those doing anti-racist work is the snitching app NextDoor.
The app, which has been used to help people police their neighbors since its inception in 2010, tweeted its support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Sunday. Conveniently left out of their statement was an acknowledgment of hundreds of complaints about the volume of racial profiling on the app. It wasn’t until 2015, when Nextdoor retooled its structure for reporting “suspicious activity” that more than just a potential suspect’s race needed to be included.
Also highlighting their lack of self-awareness, the NFL tweeted a statement highlighting their commitment to addressing systemic racism. Remember the time the NFL actively prevented a black man from working because he peacefully protested police brutality? Me too, which is odd since it appears that the NFL doesn’t remember it at all.
TikTok, a social media platform that has repeatedly stripped black artists of their proper credit and blocked the content of creators the site deemed at risk of “bullying,” also tweeted a statement puffing up the app’s ability to
“[foster] a space where everyone is seen or heard.” This note came a day after the company admitted that a software bug made it appear as videos with the Black Lives Matter hashtag were unable to be viewed.
A tweet of support, while people are dying, is a fart in a crowded room–offensive and useless. If brands are not going to put money or resources into actually backing a cause, or eradicating some of the damage caused by their own company, then tweeting imaginary support is just embarrassing. To have a shred of decency and not co-opt a movement should at least be the point of entry.