Dr. Alison Novak (PR/ADV)
"#StandwithCaster: Yelp, Twitter, intersectionality, and the IAAF’s DSD policy" published in Social Justice and the Modern Athlete: Exploring the Role of Athlete Activism in Social Change.
Ever look at a Yelp review and think, “that person clearly wants to destroy this company’s reputation?” Sites like Yelp and Google Reviews generate millions of views and impact how the larger public perceives the reputation, credibility, and quality of organizations around the world. Occasionally, online groups co-opt these spaces to leave political messaging rather than post honest reviews of an organization. For organizations that make controversial decisions, the risk of online groups co-opting Yelp and Google Reviews is high.
This is what happened when World Athletics (formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation) created a policy that banned women with high levels of naturally-produced testosterone from competing in track competitions like the Olympics. These policies appeared to target one athlete in particular, Caster Semenya, who won a 2016 gold medal for South Africa and held the world record in 800 meters for the past decade. To fans, the new policies from World Athletics appeared sexist, unfair, and even unscientifically founded. Thus, to protest the new rules that would eliminate her from the 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics, they posted angry messages to Yelp and reduced the organizations previous 4.9 star review to .2. . .read more