Breitbart, Google, Dini Jimmy discussed on The Product Experience
And welcome back to you the product experience I'm Lily Smith and Randy silver hatefully. I grew up in the states and you were here in the okay when you were a kid did your favorite TV shows ever have something at the beginning where they said and tonight on a very special episode of Yeah but by. It just felt really appropriate for this week Sepah. Do you mind if I give it a try and I K. I show gave this week on a very special episode of the product experience we talked to Dini Jimmy one of the founders of the sleeping giants movement who are working to make hate speech unprofitable you know I I met her when she was running growth for proud pad which is the company that mined the product co-founders Janna Basta and Simon Task Run and I've been following her work ever since yes. This is a really important topic and I liked to intro. Thank you renting say uh regardless of your politics ethics or morals getting this wrong can have a massive effect on the way that customers employees suppliers and partners interact racked with your brand and your product and I was like to see that as product managers were accountable for the end to end experience of the product and that has to include how we live up to the values. The company publishes in the annual report the values that we have in the employee manual stuff you hear about on your first day in orientation. You really have to be thinking about this stuff all the time it. It was a great tap so let's get right to Dini. Thank you so much for joining us today. On on the product experience you know we know each other a little bit because of your background with prog head but can you give a little bit of background on who you are how you came to be doing stuff with sleeping giants and your background in technology and product Randy. Thank you so much for having me well. I'm happy about myself so I am one of the leaders of sleeping giants. We are a social media campaign that is dedicated to making hate speech and bigotry sexism unprofitable and I've been running it since on November twenty sixteen when I I went on Breitbart for the first time in twenty sixteen eighteen shortly after the elections. I saw these sort of shocking headlines that I you know they weren't super shocking to me because I've been hearing about them reading about them but hearing about them in the news but the thing that struck me when I went on this website was that it was being supported by ads that were from companies. I said I shopped with a trusted so I think some of the first few ads I saw her from like target old navy Sastre even 'cause. I've been looking at their conference for a while. I was just being retargeted. Kinda hit me like instantly that that this is how this website makes money so and actually it's funny because I was at prod. I was running our Google ad words. I was using a very small ad budget at the time so I was. It's like super in all about where I was always in their checking like where's my ad place. How did it perform you know like which which page performed better. What did they do on the on the landing page that I wrote you know so I was Kinda like familiar with the INS and outs of Google ad words so for me. It all just came together our like real quick and what I did at the time was kind of look around like I remember being in my room by myself and I was like am am I crazy like is this is it just me has no one else figured this out yet and turns out like no one had as far as I knew so I I I did the only thing I knew how to do at the time which was right immediate post a medium article I called it something like Hey. PPC marketers you don't wait to blacklist breitbart encouraging performance marketers to go ahead and just at Breitbart to their exclusion list to their blacklist. I was like no one like no. One's is GONNA ask don't worry no one's. GonNa notice you're not going for them and I kind of sat back and waited for it to go viral and it didn't like no one eight attention like was it had it all figured out so that was a bit disappointing but I think literally the next day it was like I remember waking up in the morning or something and I had a message from this account called sleeping giants so and saying you know hey great article. You know we're doing the same thing you should join us about. That's how I met not. He was doing the same thing he was on Breitbart for the first time after the elections and he had the same sort of idea yeah that I had but he was set on doing it anonymously and I also decided to remain anonymous so we ran the campaign anonymously for almost two years so you decided to run the campaign on twitter is that right so we have a twitter and facebook okay and how did you go about designing that campaign to to attract as many people as possible attract the attention of as many people as possible. We didn't design anything out. Stop we yeah we did not. We did the opposite of design we had no clue what we were doing and every day we would just wake up and like it just see what was you know like just actually at the beginning we would it was really just screen shotting pretty much every brands every Ashley saw and tweeting at the brand just it was just a very monotonous repetitive thing I mean it still is to be honest pretty by you know there was there was no plan. What what happened was that people started to take notice because this is all happening on social media where you can see you know the twitter account asking Questions Ping the company you can see the company's responding very quickly and people saw that this was making an impact. There were results coming out of this so what we did. Was We started a confirmed lists basically with all the brands that had said to us. Yes you know we we will be short a blacklist this we had no idea we were appearing on the site to begin with and then we throw up some instructions besides just do what we're doing and tweet at companies you know be polite and and just tag is in the tweet so we can keep track of things so people started to join. It was super easy thing to do. All you have to do is going to take this screen. Shot and people did it people. All people tag doesn't it one of the things I'm really proud of actually is that people never got nasty so it really was like polite almost almost like a letter writing campaign except with tweets so named any before we continue going too deep into your work with sleeping giants and how it works and and what we can do as product people to protect ourselves and and take care of ourselves in our products which is want to go further into your background so I met you when and you were a copywriter and you're looking at obviously brand identity and the use of language and and everything without pet. Where were you professionally when you I started working with sleeping giants. I don't remember you being someone I knew as overtly political yeah so when I when I it was at prod Pat I was head of growth and I was just plugging away on marketing stuff and I guess before that I was doing marketing for a customer support helped us software am both roles. I was sort of like absorbing a lot of information. I like to say that as market I don't know much I just like absorbed what other people tell me what. I learned that I spit it out in Augsburg landing pages or whatever value props in this not so I I learned a lot in those few years around how companies make decisions 'cause I. I was learning how customer support works how customer support works with or customer support fields feedback complaints in that sort of thing and how they funnel that into product like management how they funnel that in to get that onto the agenda of their leadership and so on so I kind of like I wouldn't say intuitive but it was something that I picked up along the way so I I kind of knew what buttons to push you know when I first started with sleeping giants and that has served me really well and when did you first see the impact of the work that you would admit sleeping John's so this is really funny because we were out to get cross attention or anything like that we that I was on a radar but what happened was just about like maybe ten days or two weeks or something. After joint it was December early. December wanted one of the companies that either is our one of our followers had tagged was Kellogg's the cereal company and Kellogg's came out like really really strong in their response came out. They made a whole like PR statement on it. They were like no. We're not gonNA advertise on Breitbart. We didn't know about it. We're we're going to go out and do an entire audit of our our advertising so we're not only not going to be on Breitbart anymore. We're GONNA CHECK TO MAKE sure we're not on any other. A sort of offensive Jacksonville sites that that we don't want our brand to be on and yeah I mean that was like those massive for us. At that time it was huge. I remember seeing an article in the Guardian that was really the first time in Breitbart like reacted so melodramatically day. They launched a campaign called Hashtag dump. Kellogg's walks a boycott of Kellogg saying that Kellogg's hates its reader is No one should eat. Kellogg cereal anymore and it was totally ridiculous but at at the time you know Breitbart. was you know people were watching what Breitbart was saying and doing it and just because of that campaign you know they got attention for it. We got attention for it. So that was our first big sort of milestone then I mean things are moving so fast back then. I can't even twenty sixteen ended. you know every single day were or things were changing companies. Were responding were adding to or less so it was just moving super fast every day and then things came to a head in March twenty seventeen I call it march madness because like everyday something crazy would happen like the UK government found out that that their ads were appearing on like on terrorist channels on Youtube so I think very. There's a bunch of different agencies that were basically Kley paying terrorists. It was like two hundred fifty thousand pounds or something was not an insignificant amount of money they found out that was a a big one but also Thomson Reuters Jaguar. Both of them found out their ads were on objectionable content on Youtube sube online all came to a head and at some point in March turning seventeen Havis media one of the biggest media agencies in the world world came out and said we're going to pause. That's like we're going to pause this was just in the UK but you know all the UK clients. We're GONNA WE'RE GONNA PAUSE OUR ADS. which is a huge deal? I mean that is like millions and millions of dollars being lost every day. You know that's not business as usual and then the U K. The I think it parliament called Google to come testify about their their ads. You know why we're at this type of content and these companies for the first time these really really big tech companies had to answer like they had to. They couldn't just ignore it. which is what they wanted to do? I think that that was a real turning point for That was the first time I realized how deep this does issue really. was I mean it wasn't just the ads and how involved involved in an older you get very much your highlighting the problem and then you leave the businesses to sort of come up with the solution indeed the other wet then coming to you in saying. What do we do about this so yeah. I'm so we were never really involved in the solution. We were just I mean we still aren't I would say we're literally just a group of Volunteers Agus. An an are followers pointing out that there is a problem problem and what's sad is that you know small just mom and pop stores shops little startups in just people trying to do their own thing are are kind of in the crosshairs of this massive advertising grist dismissive..