Twitter users were troubled on Monday to learn that, at least briefly, The Coca-Cola Co.’s website didn’t allow people to put “Palestine” or “Black Lives Matter” on its customizable Coke bottles—but appeared to let users label their bottles “blue lives matter” and “Nazis.”
In a viral tweet on Monday, user Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) directed followers to go to the “Share a Coke” personalized Coke bottle webpage and “enter ‘Palestine.'”
“Get an error because Coca-Cola thinks Palestine is offensive,” the user writes. “Get no error because Coca-Cola thinks Israel is not offensive.”
Ismail subsequently tweeted: “Oh, and sorry @osamadorias, can’t share a Coca-Cola with you. Osama is prohibited. And Mohammed also can’t have a Coca-Cola while we’re at it. Well done, @CocaCola. Just banned the most common name on Earth because y’all don’t consider Arabs or Muslims exist.”
User Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) said that the censor, however, allowed a preview of the name “Nazis” to appear on the bottle. Dale shared with the Daily Dot a screenshot of the personalization tool preview that showed “Nazis.”
Twitter users continued to test explicit or LBGTQ phrases onto a bottle. One person tested “dead babies” and “forced penetration” and found that the customizer tool accepted both. A screenshot showed that “ACAB,” an acronym for “all cops are bastards,” also appeared to pass the censor.
Some used the customizable bottle page to make statements about civil rights or politics. “40 [percent] of cops abuse their spouse,” one user wrote, referring to two studies from the early 1990s that are cited in a popular meme.
The Daily Dot verified on Tuesday afternoon that the Coke bottle personalization page does appear to selectively block phrases or words. For example, “blue lives matter” made it onto a bottle; “Black lives matter” did not. The word “slavery” would not push through, but “forced labor” did.
The Daily Dot found that the words “Israel,” “ACAB,” and “Nazis” were also blocked on Tuesday. “Nazis rule,” however, passed the censors.
“We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalization tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose—for Coca-Cola fans to celebrate with one another and make connections,” a representative for The Coca-Cola Co. told the Daily Dot. “We add terms and phrases if we feel they are consistent with that intent.”
One Twitter user found that adding spaces to the name allowed “Palestine” and “lesbian” to pass the censor. It’s unclear if the bottles receive secondary screening after the order is created.
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