Sephora posts social media guidelines to tackle online harassment

Dive brief:

  • As part of World Mental Health Day, Sephora posted guidelines on social media targeting hate and harassment online through his Instagram page. It claims to be the first major retailer to publicly launch guidelines.
  • The “Hearts, Not Hate” guidelines were developed with anti-harassment organization Hollaback, a Sephora spokesperson said via email, and aim to establish Sephora’s social communities as “a safe, non-judgmental space. for everyone”.
  • The three guidelines encourage users to “elevate beauty” by supporting those who “take risks, encourage inclusion and create a sense of belonging”, and also “be an ally” and “name hate”.

Dive overview:

Sephora’s social media actions come shortly after the Wall Street Journal’s in-depth look at the impact of Facebook on adolescent mental health, and the retailer also acknowledged the “extreme effect” that online harassment can have on self-confidence and mental health.

“Sadly, we recognize that online harassment is a growing epidemic, hurting those who just want to shine their light and stifling healthy conversations,” the retailer said on its guidelines webpage. “As a leading beauty retailer with a strong social presence, we feel responsible for ensuring that our social platforms are inclusive, welcoming and free from hate speech.”

The beauty retailer guidelines involve encouraging others with “kind hearts and words”; work to answer questions and misconceptions without judgment; respect the sexual orientations, gender identities, pronouns and gender expressions of others; and moderate comments that involve harassment.

In an email, the retailer touted support from some of Sephora’s “most notable brands and brand founders,” including Selena Gomez, founder and creator of Rare Beauty.

“Online harassment can negatively affect your mental health, which is why I am joining Sephora in helping to tackle this problem,” Gomez said. “I am passionate about making our social spaces a safer and more welcoming place for everyone. “

Sephora’s social media guidelines are just the latest in a series of efforts by the beauty retailer to fight inclusion and belonging. In January of this year, Sephora rolled out an action plan to manage racial prejudice in its stores which included changes to marketing, merchandising, in-store experience and operations. This effort encompassed his commitment to the fifteen percent commitment and double its assortment of black-owned brands by the end of 2021, as well as a commitment to increase diversity in its marketing and social media campaigns.

This latest engagement led Sephora first campaign highlighting brands owned by blacks this fall, with a focus on “excellence and quality” of products.

About Madeline Powers

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