We have learned that individual activists or organizations plan to be at World Dairy Expo next week. Please be aware that they may be using unique tactics instead of protesting or direct attacks; it may come in the form of friendly personal interviews on camera or recording devices.
Read more on handling activists at fairs and events:
- If you see an activist’s post or video about agriculture or the event, do not comment on it, share it, or engage with it in anyway. Social media sites like Facebook use an algorithm to decide what to show to people; it is heavily based on how much “attention” (comments, likes, shares, views) a post is getting, and it doesn’t distinguish between people who agree or disagree with the post. Interacting with activist’s posts drives traffic to the post and gives it more attention.
- It is extremely unlikely that you will change the mind of a committed activist. Don’t make changing their mind your goal
- A good rule of thumb is to assume anytime you are in public, you could be on video. Act as if that’s the case.
- If you think you are being filmed, ask the person politely and calmly, “Are you videotaping our event?” Remember, the majority of people are filming or taking pictures for positive reasons—don’t become defensive.
- If someone is filming you for a negative reason, state your position politely and clearly. Do not argue or become combative. Getting you to react negatively and emotionally on video is an activist’s goal. They want you to yell at them, get upset, say something defensive or rude. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
- If you see a post on social media expressing a genuine question about animal agriculture, please serve as a resource to that person. Do so politely, without name calling or belittling.
- Do not use polarizing language that will alienate a portion of your audience. Avoid references to political affiliations, personal appearance, “city people,” intelligence, or similar personal attacks.
Please contact Beth Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.491.3892) for further assistance.