Cancel Culture on the Rise: Majority Would Boycott Brands Over Negative Information Online

Narrative monitoring AI platform Factmata announces the launch of its new whitepaper, Making Sense of Mass Mentions. It examines how narrative monitoring is a global solution for brands to safeguard themselves against the problem of widespread misinformation, harmful content and the rise of cancel culture.

In 2018 64% of people would boycott a brand based on widespread, negative information they see online, regardless of the facts. That number is up to over 80% as of 2021, highlighting the growing scale of the problem brands face in cancel culture and the risk misinformation and harmful content poses to brand reputation. Global brands are now actively seeking new technologies to solve this problem.

The whitepaper also explores how new AI-powered stance models can help save businesses time and money, reduce risk and create opportunities. It highlights how predicting intent, navigating cancel culture and automating the monitoring of mass mentions, is essential for brands and agencies looking to deliver faster and more decisive action based on what people are talking about globally. With Twitter users now sending over half a million tweets every minute, it’s clear that manual data analysis is no longer sustainable.


Identifying and catching narratives in their infancy before reaching a mainstream audience can both save brands from reputational damage before it happens but also provide opportunities to establish early ownership of narratives positive for their brand. Given that more than half (58.4%) the world now uses social media brands cannot afford to ignore the risks and potential of engaging their audiences on social media.

Antony Cousins, CEO at Factmata, says: “Brands are facing a double-threat of increased risk of being cancelled for their actions on social or political issues at the same time as exponential growth in content about them online, including potential misinformation about those actions.’

‘These risks are only increasing with time as Gen Z make up a larger proportion of their consumers and they’re much more ethically driven in their purchases. Brands are having to come to terms with manual media analysis no longer being sustainable to keep up with the volume and speed of online content.’

‘There is also a huge opportunity for brands using AI to counter these threats to drive operational efficiencies. Monitoring narratives before they break, identifying the influencers behind them and the context behind their language can drive real improvements to brand safety and reduce reliance on hours of manual labour and analysis.”

Factmata’s new whitepaper aims to help PR and marketing professionals, brands and journalists to understand how to use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to monitor patterns and trends. For a full breakdown of what narrative monitoring is and how it could benefit your business, you can download the whitepaper here.