Five Ways To Fight Online Jingoism

In Do You Face Online Jingoism? I Do, I’d given several examples of online jingoism.

fight-jingoism-fi

Image Courtesy: Radhika Iyer*

Jingoism may not bother 90% of Internet users who reportedly only skim through articles and updates i.e. “consume” content. If you’re one among them, you can safely skip this blog post.

On the other hand, jingoism can harm the remaining 10% of Internet users that use digital media professionally as a part of their content marketing strategy.

If you belong to the latter cohort, welcome to this post, where I’ve outlined five ways to fight online jingoism.

#1. Mask Your Location

You can use ÜberTwitter to obfuscate your physical location in your online profiles. For example, take the following Twitter profile:

ut-twitter-location

As you can see, where people generally write their country or city name, this user has entered his lat-long coordinates, so his location is not visible. This is the first time that I’ve seen someone taking this approach, whether they’ve done so to hide their location or otherwise.

Certainly, you can pluck out the two numbers and enter them in Google Maps search box to learn that this user’s location is Bangalore. However, you can use this technique to obfuscate your location well enough to ensure that you don’t become a sitting duck for jingoistic remarks.

#2. Involve The Publisher

In response to the jingoistic remarks described in Example A in Do You Face Online Jingoism? I Do, I appealed to the publisher to change its policies that indirectly encourage such remarks:

Ketharaman Swaminathan – GTM360 Marketing Solutions – Pune | 24 June, 2016, 09:54

This is not the first time I’ve come across a country-agnostic comment by one commenter (e.g. John Candido – Black Cabs – Melbourne) to be parsed / interpreted / steered by another commenter towards a specific country inferred from the former’s profile.

This is not such a big deal except when the latter is anonymous and there’s no country listed against them.

To establish a level playing field, I request @Finextra to either (A) stipulate that comments from anonymous members should not include unprovoked references to a country (hard to implement?) OR (B) mention the country of anonymous members (easier to implement?).

While I’m biased, I’ve a strong reason to believe that this technique works. More on that in a bit.

#3. Preempt The Attack

Whenever I guest blog on global media outlets, I anticipate jibes – subtle or otherwise. So, wherever possible, I preempt them by providing a multi-country exposition of the central theme of my articles. Take my Finextra post titled Secret Of Survival Of Bank Branches for instance.

Using an example from India, I argued in this post that banks want branches because that’s where they can sell their products most effectively. Going by past experience, there was a good chance that my post would invite comments to the effect that India needs branches because it’s backward whereas advanced nations don’t need branches because, well, they’re advanced. So, I added the following US-specific reference to reinforce my point:

HBR reinforces my belief: In its article titled Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do, the authors note, “… financial services firms find that a human being is often the best channel for delivering offers.” So, it’s not only India.

This worked. No one left a jingoistic comment.

#4. Bait And Snap

In this variant to #3, your central theme is true for both Country A (typically a developing country) and Country B (typically a developed country). While you know this, you drip-feed this information to the audience. In the first pass, you assert your point only for the developing country. If and when jingoists retort with the inevitable “what you’re saying is not true in advanced countries”, you snap back with evidence of how your point is equally applicable in developed countries!

I used this strategy in my comment on the article titled In-store mobile payments fail to take off in North America:

Ketharaman Swaminathan – GTM360 Marketing Solutions – Pune | 20 October, 2016, 13:39

@FinextraMember / @DineshKatyal:

ChasePay is a mobile payment offering from a bank and it supports instore payments in USA (Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161019005338/en/Wakefern-Accept-Chase-Pay).

Going by the technology used by my bank in India to support instore mobile payments on its mobile payment app PayZapp, I’d hazard a guess that ChasePay works on QR code.

chasepay01Hardcore jingoists will sniff out the bait and avoid making jingoistic comments. Mission accomplished. If amateur jingoists fall for it, lash out with your follow up comment in which you cite evidence that your assertion is equally true for developed countries! Like I was equipped to do with the following articles that confirm that ChasePay in USA also uses QR code for instore payments (just as PayZapp does in India):

Chase Announces Chase Pay, Its Own Digital Wallet

Wakefern to Accept Chase Pay

No one took the bait. Don’t know if that’s because there are no amateur jingoists on this platform or my strategy #2 has worked!

#5. Take It Head On!

In this approach, you hit back at the jingoist with a tinge of reverse-jingoism of your own. Like I did in the case of Example B described in Do You Face Online Jingoism? I Do. I played @BenedictEvans statement against himself with the following tweet:

He probably didn’t know how to counter my “stagnant market” jibe because I haven’t heard back from him after that!


 

If you know of any more ways to fight online jingoism, please share them in the comments below.

 

*: Radhika Iyer is my niece and a final year student at MIT Institute of Design. She runs her blog called Design for X.

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