Social media platforms and content aggregators, like Reddit, provide useful and entertaining sounding boards for the opinions of internet users across the globe.
But vetting the validity of this content is a familiar challenge. This leaves platforms open to becoming breeding grounds for wrong and harmful information.
One case in point is Holocaust denial. While in 2019 it may surprise many to see this as a recurring phenomenon, the facts show the problem is widespread.
In an effort to raise awareness around the issue, We Are Social partnered with the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and Green Cave People to form a campaign tackling one of the most prolific conspiracy theories plaguing digital platforms.
Released ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January, We Are Social’s meaningful and impactful campaign seeks to shift perceptions amongst a young, digital audience.
Here’s why ‘Ask Me Anything’ is our January campaign of the month.
Around two-thirds of the world’s population either deny the Holocaust, or don’t know it happened.
This is according to Diego Chicharro, Senior Strategist at We Are Social, who also reveals “this proportion only goes up when it comes to younger, more connected generations”.
The suggestion is that, if left unaddressed, the proportion of people who deny the Holocaust, or are unaware that it took place, will increase overtime.
This troubling insight provided the basis for the campaign, bringing to light the damaging potential of widespread, misguided content surrounding the Holocaust.
The campaign begins with a music video designed to strike a chord with a young, digital audience who are likely to feel more removed from the events of the Holocaust than older generations.
The story of Janine, an 86 year-old Holocaust survivor, is overlaid onto an R&B soundtrack by Kapoo (an American rapper) with a young female actress playing Janine as a child in the video.
We Are Social then contacted Reddit, one of the platforms on which Holocaust denial content has become prolific, requesting an ‘Ask Me Anything’ question and answer session with Janine and Kapoo.
This tactic is often used by A-list celebrities to speak to internet users on a human level.
Why it Worked
The campaign found a unique, open and honest means of talking about the Holocaust in a way that resonated with young social media users.
Using the very platforms on which this kind of toxic opinion spreads to promote the campaign both effectively amplified its reach and allowed its powerful sentiments to tackle the problem where it originated.
Diego offered us an exclusive comment on the message and delivery of the campaign:
“Our challenge was to use social media to get a young, desensitized and hard-to-reach audience involved in Janine’s story first hand, with a total budget of zero.
Reddit, the self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet’ is probably the most influential online community and where many of the conversations about the Holocaust, informative or toxic, start to spread.
Janine, myself and the team are completely overwhelmed by the response we’ve received from the community and we’re looking forward to finding new ways to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.”
The question and answer session will be posted to over 50 million users on one of the largest subreddits on the platform.
It proves that with a truly impactful insights behind you, you can make active efforts to promote positive change.
“The internet can be a tremendously powerful tool for change,” says Diego, “and we believe it is our duty, as the world’s biggest social media agency, to use it for good when given the chance.”