Home / Lifestyle / The Problem With “Woke Bait” and Social Justice Propaganda

The Problem With “Woke Bait” and Social Justice Propaganda

Being the first to support a good cause doesn’t always make you right — or woke. Especially in wake of major companies and brands, rallying behind activists and around social issues they aren’t morally aligned with. It is easier now, more than ever, to contribute to racy conversations on social media or through a hashtag, but the last thing you want to do on the web is be woke and be wrong. This practice has been coined “woke bait” by BLACK ENTERPRISE copy chief Seimond London.

“Woke bait” is hereby defined as social justice propaganda masked as a progressive campaign or just stance to elicit emotion, debate, or an economic transaction from a group of people.

With timelines refreshing every nanosecond, it is imperative people do their research. Next week, BE will explore woke bait in Nigeria, at Social Media Week Lagos produced by Afrika21. This year’s event will be held Feb. 4 – Feb. 8, and the theme is “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility.” The week-long conference provides ideas, trends, insights, and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyperconnected world. The event features a central stage for keynotes and panels, multiple rooms for workshops, masterclasses and presentations, and an area dedicated to co-working, networking, and interactive installations.

Lydia Blanco will cover how black reporters and consumers can identify woke-bait and educate themselves by digging deeper into major campaigns that project support of marginalized communities through social justice marketing and advertisement.

During the session, attendees will learn how to identify woke-bait on social media and within advertising campaigns; gain tools to accurately report and add to the conversation off and online; explore difficulties in decision making — to support or pass on campaign bait; and discuss the impacts campaigns have on black communities — socially and economically.

You might not be able to make it to Nigeria, but you’ll want to stay tuned for a recap of the Masterclass and recaps on the latest trends and technological advances that are being followed in the motherland!

Use the hashtag #SMWBLACKENTERPRISE to follow the conversation on social media.


Steve KingThe ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

Lydia Blanco

Lydia T. Blanco is a proud Afro-Latinx digital-first multimedia journalist with a strong passion for truthful storytelling, photography and creative content strategy.



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