Girls Wanting to Change Social Media

By Dove, Special for USDR

Nearly all women and girls have encountered negativity online and agree social media can be damaging to their self-esteem1. New Dove research shows girls today are searching for a way to make a difference on social media; in fact, 62% of girls wish social media would teach and empower them about body positivity2, instead of being a place of negativity and defeat. In 2015, Dove and Twitter embarked on a partnership to encourage women to #SpeakBeautiful and help change the way we talk about beauty on social media. #SpeakBeautiful contributed to a 36% decrease in negative conversations about beauty last year, and now, Dove and Twitter are launching new technology that will analyze users’ tweets to help them understand the impact of their online words.3

“Body-shaming has sadly become a normal part of today’s online interactions, but sometimes we do not realize the role we are playing in that conversation—only 9% of women admit to participating in negative behavior on social media,” said Jennifer Bremner, Director of Marketing, Dove. “The good news is that we all have the opportunity to make a difference. Dove and Twitter designed the #SpeakBeautiful Effect to give women and girls personalized insight into their tweets and the emotional impact they can have on themselves and others.”

By participating and sharing their results, women and girls have the opportunity to influence their online followers and the next generation of social media users. The #SpeakBeautiful Effect will provide users with four analysis, including:

  • The Beauty Quotient: compares a woman or girl’s general mood with how her tone changes when talking about beauty, to reveal the most common emotion expressed in her beauty Tweets, based on a spectrum of almost 46 unique emotions
  • Defining Beauty: compares the words found in a woman or girl’s beauty tweets with the most popular positive and negative words used about beauty, body and appearance by other women across Twitter
  • It’s Time to #SpeakBeautiful: reveals the time when women and girls are tweeting most frequently about appearance, with insight into moments throughout the day when they skew more positive or negative
  • Let’s #SpeakBeautiful Together: displays the percentage of body positivity tweets by regions in the U.S., so women and girls can see how the #SpeakBeautiful effect is inspiring change across the country

Understanding the Impact of Social Media on Girls’  Self-Esteem
Dove commissioned new research with social media scholar and Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, danah boyd, to better understand how girls are engaging with and effected by social media. 95% of girls have seen negative beauty posts, comments, snaps, videos or photos, and 72% see these beauty critiques at least once a  week4.

“The next generation is growing up fully immersed in a social media world where female empowerment is at its peak,” said danah boyd. “Girls have heard the message loud and clear that positive self-image matters, but they’re also struggling with what it means in practice.  We’re seeing a growing desire among the next generation to change the world through social media movements, and we have an incredible opportunity to offer girls the online tools to make this change happen.”

#SpeakBeautiful Effect Helps Girls Make Social Media A More Positive  Place
The #SpeakBeautiful Effect is powered by an algorithm that offers an easy, digestible way to analyze personal behaviors and identify areas where women and can be more positive when sharing messages online. Women can see their own #SpeakBeautiful Effect by Retweeting an invitation from @Dove. Within moments, a user receives a Tweet with a link to her personal experience. Here is a step-by-step look at how the #SpeakBeautiful Effect  works:

Step 1: Retweet an invitation from @Dove.
Step 2: The technology sifts through 6 months of history per  user.
Step 3: Applies custom linguistic classifiers, built specifically for #SpeakBeautiful, to your real tweets.
Step 4: The classifiers look for a broad selection of body and beauty-related terms and emotions within your tweets to analyze how your words are used in relations to the subject of your post or sentence.
Step 5: Reports a variety of details about your tweets based on the word analysis performed (i.e. types of words you’re using, the frequency of which you are using them, the time of day etc…)

“Hundreds of millions of Tweets are sent every day, and we partnered with Dove to develop a tool that would raise awareness of how our online words can sometimes bombard others with negativity that impacts our confidence and self-esteem” said Patricia Cartes, Head of Global Trust & Safety Outreach at Twitter. “At Twitter, we are proud to be working with Dove to empower the next generation to play a real role in making their personal feed, and larger online world, a kinder, more positive place.”

Stand up with @Dove to make social media a place where we #SpeakBeautiful. Visit Dove.com for more information.

About  Dove
Dove®, manufactured by Unilever, is the No. 1 personal wash brand nationwide. One in every three households uses a Dove® product, which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-perspirant/deodorants, body mists, hair care, styling aids and Dove® Men+Care, developed specially for men.  Dove® is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet  stores.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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