Yesterday I published a post objecting to InternationalWomensDay.com billing itself as “The” IWD website. My objections are that there is no such thing as one official site and secondly the blatant attempt at corporate branding is totally unacceptable.
This morning I engaged in a back and forth on Twitter with @Reuters_Women. According to InternationalWomensDay.com, that is the, “IWD Reuters_Women Twitter feed proudly provided by Thomson Reuters” If you look up the Reuters_Women profile on Twitter, it says that it is maintained by Julie Mollins who apparently is an online editor at Thomson Reuters.
Here is our dialog, which speaks for itself (note–start with number 9 and read up, it is the way Twitter displays tweets).
- Reuters_Women @Fempeace Thanks. I appreciate your feedback and opinions. Good luck with your #iwd efforts. about 3 hours ago from HootSuite
- Fempeace @Reuters_Women pls also delete from yr site metatags. Also yr Twittername implies Reuters sponsors IWD, not cool. about 3 hours ago from web
Reuters_Women @Fempeace Ah. OK. I take your point. I have deleted “the” from the Twitter bio. about 4 hours ago from HootSuite
Fempeace @Reuters_Women metatags no longer say ‘official’ but you still call yrself ‘the’ #iwd site–there are many iwd sites, there is no ‘the’ site about 4 hours ago from web
Fempeace Yr @Reuters_Women implies that @ThomsonReuters cause-branding #IWD as well #feminist #fem2 about 4 hours ago from web
Fempeace @Reuters_Women yes you do call it official in your metatags. Corporate cause branding of #IWD is unacceptable. #feminist #fem2 about 4 hours ago from web
Reuters_Women @Fempeace Hi there. We don’t call it “official”. about 5 hours ago from HootSuite
Fempeace @Reuters_Women–http://tinyurl.com/yh5lrg7 isnt “Official” IWD site, pls quit calling yrself that. http://tinyurl.com/yk6hjp6 #iwd about 5 hours ago from web
Satisfactory? Not hardly. The website metatags still refers to “The International Women’s Day website”, which has profound implications on search engines, such as Google:
meta name=”DESCRIPTION” content=”The International Women’s Day website”
More insidiously, I went back to look more thoroughly at the International Women’s Day website itself. At the top there are tabs to pages not only about International Women’s Day but also Jobs (which without attribution as to source provides a list of jobs in “progressive organisations” and “progressive organisations” (actually they are not organizations, they are corporations) that support women’s advancement (again without saying how they came up with this list), Business & Finance, Science & Technology, Justice and Health (the latter categories lead to pages of Reuters news links. Huh? Why exactly are these on “The” International Women’s Day website??
At that point I decided to do a little looksee at Thomson Reuters. I mean I know Reuters is a news agency, but I had not been aware that it was part of a larger conglomerate. But sure enough…in addition to media, the company also has financial, healthcare, legal, science, and tax and accounting interests. Which certainly should make us question the bias in any Reuters ‘news’ story. But that is another subject. What is clear here is that Thomson Reuters and Aurora (read here for a fun critique of Aurora’s Glenda Stone) are cause-branding International Women’s Day and that is unacceptable. Imagine if a corporation did that with Martin Luther King Day!
The Feminist Peace Network continues to call for Thomson Reuters and Aurora to cease calling InternationalWomensDay.com “The” International Women’s Day website in their metatags and to immediately remove the pages that link to business concerns and Reuters news stories that are entirely irrelevant to IWD. In the meantime, we call for a boycott of the site and ask that you not use the logo that they provide, it has not been chosen by anyone but themselves.
Please write to InternationalWomensDay.com here and to Reuters here.
To learn more about International Women’s Day itself and the many organizations that work to make it happen (without commerical interest), Feminist Peace Network has a resource page here.