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About Engage Responsibly

Why Engage Responsibly? 40% of Americans have experienced online hate

Expressions of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and other forms of targeted harassment against vulnerable groups and individuals is turning corners of our social media spaces toxic. Engage Responsibly built educational materials and curated resources to inform businesses and consumers how to reduce online hate, and create a safer and more inclusive digital space for everyone. Watch the video to learn what online hate is and what you can do about it.

What is Engage Responsibly? Engage Responsibly is an education initiative that drives understanding of online hate and how you can use existing platform tools and other available mechanisms to make online safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Engage Responsibly’s goal is to provide online hate educational resources that enable everyone to be part of the solution.

Why Engage Responsibly focuses on SMBs in addition to big businesses and consumers

Online hate is impacting small- and medium- sized businesses (SMBs), customers and communities due to their reliance on engaging with their customers online. There are an estimated 28 million SMBs operating in the United States and 68% of these businesses expressed an interest in learning more about how they can help reduce online hate because of its effect to their businesses and their lives.* To support them in this effort, Engage Responsibly offers turnkey educational resources and tools that provide solutions at no cost, so SMBs can benefit from the same resources that larger corporations use. *Source: Ogilvy Research

Our Partners

Engage Responsibly is led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and supported by capability contributors ANA Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), Brand Safety Institute, Ogilvy, Publicis Media, and Pernod Ricard who conceptualized, seeded, and donated the initiative to the ANA to scale. Engage Responsibly is an education initiative with a turnkey approach to tackle online hate, built collaboratively with social media platforms and industry organizations and supported by major brands and businesses of all sizes, non-profits and SMB representation, including partnership with the Better Business Bureau to scale to its six-million-strong SMB network. In addition, Global Alliance for Responsible Media provided input on educational assets and definitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

    • Engage Responsibly is a 501(c)3 operating foundation focused on online education led by the ANA. The ANA Engage Responsibly business system is further supported by ANA Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), Brand Safety Institute (BSI), Ogilvy, Publicis Media and Pernod Ricard who conceptualized, seeded and donated the initiative to the ANA and continues to be actively involved, as well as GARM input on definitions and educational assets.

    • Online hate is a significant issue, distinct and nuanced from misinformation, bullying, and other online challenges that need to be tackled uniquely to be effective given their complexities. According to the Anti Defamation League, 52% of Americans have experienced harassment or online hate due to their racial, religious, or sexual identity. Of those experiencing hate, 26% of Americans reported mental health effects and 11% were impacted economically from factors including withdrawing from online activity because of the experience.

    • The definition of online hate, sourcing from definitions across the industry, NGOs and the United Nations is “behavior or content that incites hatred, promotes violence, vilifies, or dehumanizes groups or individuals based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, nationality, religion, caste, victims and survivors of violent acts and their kin, immigration status, or serious disease sufferers.» The platforms enforce this definition using their community standards protocols published on the platforms.

    • There are many ways to get involved:

      • Take the Engage Responsibly education —and if you are a business, share it with your employees, partners, and customers too.
      • Through knowledge and utilizing platform resources to report online hate when you encounter it.
      • Learn about and use counterspeech.
      • Employ technology to help protect your online presence.
      • Use your brand and personal channels to amplify the Engage Responsibly education, content and campaign to drive awareness and drive engagement with the education resources on engageresponsibly.org.
      • Support the educational efforts with ongoing Engage Responsibly donor opportunities.
    • Yes, the social media platforms support Engage Responsibly through program collaboration, input into the educational assets and tools, and donated media to help scale the initiative. Further, the platforms have publicly expressed their support with endorsement at the time of announcement that Engage Responsibly would be scaling as an industry-wide education initiative led by the ANA.

    • Engage Responsibly is part of the ANA Growth Agenda’s Society and Sustainability priorities, which includes brand safety, and guided by the principle that brands should be a force for good as well as a force for growth.

    • Engage Responsibly includes a robust set of assets spanning:   

      • Online educational videos for SMBs and consumers that provide understanding of what online hate is on existing platform and other resources businesses and consumers can use when they encounter it, so all are knowledgeable in how to help create a safer online environment. Education is the heart of Engage Responsibly and will continually refresh with an expanding educational curriculum  
      • Website to serve as the hub for the education experience and other details about the effort  
      • Resources like tools, studies, articles, and insights  
      • Centralized hub for accessing social platform community standards policies and processes to protect users online within their environments 
      • Campaign to drive awareness of and engagement with Engage Responsibly education located at engageresponsibly.org to gain knowledge on how to reduce online hate and leverage platform resources.  
      • Programming for additional awareness and discourse  
    • With more than 33 million SMBs in the U.S., these businesses offer a tremendous ecosystem for scaling the educational initiative and tools to reduce online hate. SMBs, a fragmented audience, will benefit from Engage Responsibly education and platform resources.

    • Yes. We continue to expand outreach, exposure, and collaboration of Engage Responsibly to NGOs, with recognition that marginalized communities are most impacted by online hate.

    • We know that success is contingent on scale. With this as our guidepost, our first measure of success will be scaling Engage Responsibly to as many SMBs and individuals as possible and validating on KPIs that measure the reach, engagement, and action stemming from Engage Responsibly’s education. These may include: 

      • How many businesses and people the Engage Responsibly campaign reaches 
      • How many businesses and people visit the Engage Responsibly website 
      • How many businesses and people engage in the Engage Responsibly education 
      • How many individuals and SMBs access the tools 
      • How many people indicated they took action after taking the education 
    • Our 2023 goal is to launch Engage Responsibly’s educational curriculum, with a supporting campaign and programming to begin driving SMB and consumer awareness, education, and informed response to the issue of online hate. Further, we look to scale Engage Responsibly as a long-term business system for ongoing impact. 2023 is our pilot year, focused on the U.S., to test and learn, with ambitions of scaling globally in the future, and establishing the right KPIs for measuring success towards our goal of reducing online hate.

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