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Virtue-signaling trap question: how to beat the cancel culture with "frame alignment"

A lady launched a super cool service.

It generates artificial fashion models pictures to scale eCommerce photo and marketing production.

The models wear different types and styles of dresses, but without taking any pictures: the models don't exist in real life.

Her post went viral.
And the virtue signaler jumped on it.

These were some of the most upvoted comment:

Trap: Awesome! But why do they all wear the same size? Are AI Models always thin?
#aiethics #aiforall
Entrepreneur: We're completely aligned Carolin Neumann - we aim to reach this breadth in data diversity by the time we fully launch our B2B product. Thanks again for bringing up this important topic and looking forward to presenting our (...)

Notice that the trapper is also seeking support with the use of hashtags.
That's a power move as it sub-communicates "I've got a bigger social group agreeing with me and ready to pounce on you".
And if the entrepreneur didn't handle it well, she'd be fanning the flames of a larger and larger backlash.

And:

Trap: Do you plan on working on a wider range of physical shapes for your models?
Entrepreneur: Many thanks for your question Valentina Contini 👩‍🎤. The algorithms we are designing are trained on real data (fashion images) - unfortunately  (frames it as a "force majeur" issue, effectively discharging the guilt and cleaning her hands) we’re finding that models featured in these fashion images are largely skewed towards certain physical shapes and not others. I am continuously seeking data partners who offer images that can fill the gaps in our dataset, therefore I hope in the next months to release more visual examples to reflect a greater range in the models represented. Let me know if I can clarify anything else. (treats her with white gloves, which helps bring her on her side and stop any future attack, nice) Best wishes, Nat

The entrepreneur lady handled it perfectly once again.

She used the alignment frame control technique.

We talked about this technique several times with the more general approach of "power alignment".
In this case, it isn't yet "power" she's aligning with as in theory the criticism comes from someone lower down in social status. BUT the trapper is riding the force of a culture / social movement that stands by her side.
And she's rallying the troops on her side to potentially sic and attack in droves.
If the entrepreneur decided to battle that frame and interpretation she might still "win" with logic and rationality -for example, explaining the market for plus size models is too small, and impossible to tackle for an early-stage startup-.
But virtue signaling is NOT about logic and rationality. So that approach might still create a social earthquake that wastes her time, ruins her reputation, turns out to be a PR nightmare, and damages her business.

In a way, she also joined the virtue-signaling crowd.
But she won the day.

Ali Scarlett and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

OFF-TOPIC: on virtue signaling

Please note:

some of those comments -and virtue signaling in general- might touch upon valid concerns or issues.

For example, in this case, that thin models might increase teenagers' anorexia issues while not even being men's favorite size, who often prefer some meat around women's bones.
That might be a valid point (I don't have enough data and knowledge to weigh in on it though).

Virtue signaling in general can add value by addressing some issues that, if addressed, can potentially make for a better world.

However, virtue-signaling isn't always driven by the goal of making the world better. And even more rarely is based on data and logic.
Instead, it's often used to gain power and self-framing the attacker as "better" -and while ruining someone's reputation-.
It's for this second effects that you want to be careful -and strategic- around cancel culture.

OFF TOPIC

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Very cool AI service indeed :).
It appeared in my LinkedIn feed.

OFF-TOPIC: on virtue signaling

I also see the importance of differentiating between

  • people who fight for a good cause against
  • virtue signallers who focus on attacking people

For example, in this case, that thin models might increase teenagers' anorexia issues while not even being men's favorite size, who often prefer some meat around women's bones.
That might be a valid point (I don't have enough data and knowledge to weigh in on it though).

The genuine people would spend more time targeting people with anorexia issues like you advised.
They would also do more groundwork like being involved in relevant communities instead of merely voicing opinions.

The virtue signallers spend more time "fighting" and "attacking".
They don't even plan on doing the work needed to change any stigma.
But they somehow always find ways to spot "moral errors" in people's posts.

OFF-TOPIC

I saw another post recently.
The author was asking for opinions on user interface design.

 

I saw some posts concerning realistic body types as well such as this one:

This person is quite smart because she phrased this in the context of the product design.
She hints that many people would find his picture off-putting because it doesn't resonate with realistic body types.
Then there's this other post:
It attacks the picture's supposed lack of modesty.
And that users will not buy the dress because it's sexually offensive.
Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
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