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Otter Pops deleted a tweet from its account in response to what appeared to be from a supporter of Black Lives Matter in Portland asking to donate the brand to donate free Otto Pops . The above tweet from the brand asked the user PDXCarMedic for a DM to see how they could help.
In the morning, Otter Pops distanced itself from the Tweet.
We regret that an individual consultant hired by Otter Pops recently commented on a social media post that appeared to align the brand with a political movement. We apologize if anyone was offended by that comment, which was not representative of our brand.
— Otter Pops (@OtterPops) August 18, 2020
The deletion and subsequent apology mat have been due in part to claims that the original tweet in question came from an Antifa group that has allegedly been giving supplies to rioters in the city including lacrosse sticks used to hurl tear gas canisters back at police.
Andy Ngô, a Post-Millennial editor-at-large told PJ Media that the PDXCarMedic account belongs to an“affinity pop up group” that gives “food and supplies to the rioters.
For those who didn't see the now-deleted message from Otter Pops, they were offering to donate food to an antifa pop-up group in Portland that gives supplies to rioters. Here's one example of that group bragging about giving out lacrosse sticks so rioters could fight officers. pic.twitter.com/p5C63jWYEK
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 18, 2020
This shows the potential minefield that brands are facing on social media when it comes to taking a stand on any issue. Portland has seen unprecedented violence recently in an ongoing and sustained protest that has fluctuated between mostly peaceful and downright brutal, since May 28. For those bad at math, that means the past 85 days have seen clashes between police and protestors, police and rioters, tear gas, courthouses set on fire. Not to mention clashes between rioters and victims.
On August 18th, rioters chased down a pickup truck whose driver was trying to help a transgender female who'd been robbed. The driver was beaten unconscious, the whole scene caught on video.
In July of this year, Portland also saw a homicide spike, making it the deadliest month in thirty years, as Portland has disbanded its Gun Violence Reduction Team. This comes after violent clashes in Portland last year when Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced violence between left and right wing demonstrators but largely ignored options given by then-police chief Danielle outlaw who has since left for Philadelphia.
Mayor Wheeler who only showed up at the protests on day 55, has so far been unwilling or unable to curb the violence.
With more context added to the story, it's not surprising Otter Pops wanted no part of that minefield. Although "silence equals violence," makes a nifty slogan, when actual violence occurring, brands should stay far away from the situation until facts come to light.