Uh-oh. Coca-Cola has ended a Twitter campaign after it unintentionally quoted Hitler's Mein Kampf.
It all started as a well-intentioned ad during this year's Super Bowl. The company aired a commercial asking viewers to #MakeItHappy — a response to all the hurtful social media messages and angry online comments on the Internet these days. (Watch it above.) Coke then took the campaign one step further and told people to tweet negative comments around the Internet with the #MakeItHappy hashtag. It promised to turn the words into "happy" images.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) February 2, 2015
Gawker, the media company, saw that one of the tweets featured a white nationalist slogan in the shape of a dog and decided to prank Coke. It created a Twitter account called @MeinCoke and started tweeting lines from Hitler's Mein Kampf. Coke inadvertently turned the text into images of things like a smiling banana and blasted them to disturbed Twitter users.
Once it realized the error, Coke ended the campaign entirely and issued a statement to 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."
It continued, "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."