Coca-Cola suspended its latest social media campaign after the company was tricked into tweeting out quotes by Adolf Hilter. According to Adweek, the soda company introduced the automated campaign during the Super Bowl last Sunday, and encouraged Twitter users "to mark negative tweets with the #MakeItHappy hashtag." Coca-Cola then, using ASCII code, turned the words into cute little images to make the internet a "more positive place." Gawker noticed however, that the company accidentally converted the "Fourteen Words" slogan of white nationalism into an adorable dog, and decided to prank the brand.
They created a Twitter bot — with the appropriate handle @MeinCoke — to tweet out lines from Hitler's Mien Kampf at Coca-Cola. The soda company then proceeded to turn the quotes from Hitler's autobiography/manifesto into a hamburger, a smiley face, a cat on a drum set, and more. On Gawker, editor Max Read explains the motivations behind the trolling, writing: "Even when the text is shaped like a dog, it is disconcerting to see Coca-Cola, the soda company, urge its social media followers to safeguard the existence and reproduction of white racists."
Coca-Cola, upon realizing its mistake, stopped the campaign all together and immediately blamed Gawker. A spokesperson told Adweek:
"The #MakeItHappy message is simple: The Internet is what we make it, and we hoped to inspire people to make it a more positive place. It's unfortunate that Gawker is trying to turn this campaign into something that it isn't. Building a bot that attempts to spread hate through #MakeItHappy is a perfect example of the pervasive online negativity Coca-Cola wanted to address with this campaign."
Perhaps Coca-Cola should have stuck to advertising their strange new science experiment of a milk company — which injects milk with 50 percent more protein — instead of trying to make the internet a better place.