Insurance company State Farm did some social-media advertising last week with a tweet targeted at the many couples who get engaged over the holidays and encouraging them to insure their new diamonds. It featured a stock photo of a man proposing to a woman, with the caption, "Who said yes? Cheers to the newly engaged this holiday season! Be sure to #ProtectTheBling!"
The fact that the couple is interracial, however, brought out the racist trolls on Twitter. We won't honor these racists with direct quotes. You can horrify yourself by clicking through to see the threads. There are false statistics about the fate of women who marry Black men, statements about racial purity, and complaints about agendas being "shoved" down throats. Some argued that the woman in the picture looks like a child, though without much of her face showing, it's pretty difficult to see how anyone can evaluate her age. A few waded in to thank State Farm for representing families that look like their own, but they were quickly barraged by more hate speech. It's that Cheerios backlash all over again.
In their outrage, many promised to take their business elsewhere, leading to the only bright spot in this story, if you like schadenfreude. Some tweets mentioned switching to Geico, triggering an automated response from that company's Service Team account offering free quotes. Oops. After Quartz reached out to Geico for comment, the company did not respond directly, but tweeted an apology.
"Today we replied to a tweet offering a quote without seeing the image & its context," the tweet says. "We apologize for the error & do not share their views."