Write a memo to your imaginary boss (Ms. Diana Prince of PrinceCorp.) and explain to her why some corporate social media messages you found are biased, confusing, or offensive, and for each message you will recommend revised, unbiased versions.
1. Review recent (within the past month) messaging on social media pages (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) from a company or companies. Look for words and phrases that might be biased, confusing, or offensive (for example, because it uses sexist language, ageist language, slang, buzzwords, jargon, or idiomatic language).
2. Choose three (3) separate messages (sentences, headlines, or other piece of text, but not slogans) that contain potentially confusing or offensive words and phrases. Explain why those word choices could be biased, confusing, or offensive to a global audience or offensive (for example, “the term ‘machine learning’ might be confusing to someone outside of the tech industry” or “the term ‘shook’ is slang and may not be understood by all readers”).
3. Revise the sentences to eliminate the bias, confusion, or offense and minimize any chances of misinterpretation. As much as possible, try to retain the intent of the original text, although this may not be possible in some cases.
4. Put all this together in one single memo to your boss at PrinceCorp., Ms. Diana Prince.
5. In the memo, explain why it’s important for your company to be clear and unbiased in communications, explain what you found online and why the messages are biased, confusing, or offensive, and then show how you would change each message. For example:
McDonald’s published the following on their Instagram account on September 1, 2019: “Its a hand-off to your taste buds. The Quarter Pounder w/ cheese is back on the McPick 3 for $5 menu.” The first sentence contains two idiomatic phrases that could be confusing to non-native speakers of English (“hand-off” and “taste buds”). The product name itself might also cause confusion to the same audience, and the abbreviation “w/” might be difficult to understand for any reader not familiar with the abbreviated language often used on the Internet.
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