After experiencing a "rough weekend" of online abuse, British brand Yorkshire Tea is responding to critics with kindness. Condemned by many for the label’s association with Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, Yorkshire Tea's Twitter feed was inundated last Friday after the Tory MP posted a picture of himself using their tea bags on Twitter. Captioning the image: "Quick budget prep break making tea for the team. Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew," Sunak’s tweet was quickly met with hostility from a number of social media users.
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Rishi Sunak posing with his Yorkshire Tea
With many calling for consumers to boycott the brand in lieu of its association with the Conservative politician, Yorkshire Tea's Social Media Editor was quick to publicly disassociate themselves with the post on Friday, tweeting: "Nothing to do with us – people of all political stripes like our brew." However, in light of such overwhelming backlash over the weekend, the brand has since called for people to "try to be kind," and have returned to Twitter with a powerful message.
The tweets from Yorkshire Tea's social media manager have had plenty of 'likes'
"On Friday, the Chancellor shared a photo of our tea. Politicians do that sometimes (Jeremy Corbyn did it in 2017). We weren't asked or involved - and we said so the same day. Lots of people got angry with us all the same," the tweet began. "Speaking directly now, as the person who's been answering these tweets, I know it could have been much worse. It's easier to be on the receiving end of this as a brand than as an individual," it continued, concluding: "For anyone about to vent their rage online, even to a company - please remember there's a human on the other end of it, and try to be kind."
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Refusing to enter a "political mud fight," Yorkshire Tea’s curator also thanked those who "spoke up" and supported the brand throughout the online abuse. Encouraging Twitter users to think twice about what they write before posting on social media, Yorkshire Tea’s call for kindness has since been applauded.
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Social media is a brilliant way to connect people and create communities, but it also has a dark side. Join HELLO!'s #HelloToKindness movement to promote positivity on social media. A kind ethos underpins everything we do at HELLO! and we urge our community to think twice before you post. Find out more about the #HelloToKindness movement.