Beverage giant Coca-Cola is being criticized for a new tool that fails to let customers personalize their own bottles of coke with ‘Palestine’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ while allowing offensive phrases like ‘White pride’, ‘fascism,’ and ‘Nazis rule’.
Troubled customers took to Twitter to share their findings after discovering that the restrictions were far from comprehensive.
Twitter user Rami Ismail, a video game developer and founder of GameDev, pointed out that, on the US store, the word ‘Palestine’ is blocked, as is the name, Mohammed.
Why has Coca-Cola banned the word "Palestine" on its personalised label tool? pic.twitter.com/KLdJAqS3V9
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 29, 2021
Ismail followed up with an additional tweet: “Oh, and sorry @osamadorias, can’t share a Coca-Cola with you. Osama is prohibited. And Mohammed also can’t have a Coca-Cola while we’re at it. Well done, @CocaCola. Just banned the most common name on Earth because y’all don’t consider Arabs or Muslims exist.”
“Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one,” reads a message on the site. “Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names. We’ve worked hard to get this list right, but sometimes we mess up.”
The corporation has previously launched several “Share a Coke” commercial initiatives to encourage customers to drink Coke as their summer beverage of choice. This year, it has opened up its customization tool to words as part of a new campaign that has exposed the company’s social ideals.
— Shaf 🇦🇪 (@Shafnisarah) June 22, 2021
Another Twitter user, Laura Kate Dale, pointed out that the website “blocks ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but allows ‘blue lives matter’ and ‘Nazis’. I’ve been testing it for a bit.”
In response to the backlash, Coca-Cola said it was “refining and improving” the feature.
“We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalization tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose – for Coca-Cola fans to celebrate with one another and make connections,” the company said in a statement to Newsweek. “We add terms and phrases if we feel they are consistent with that intent.”
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)