I would like to raise a concern about content recently posted on Memrise’s Facebook page. Unfortunately there is no way to contact Memrise’s social media team directly and no option in the “contact us” form that is not about the Memrise website or app.
So first off, I would like to suggest that Memrise implement some way to give feedback specifically about their social media content.
Second, I am concerned about a recent post (screenshot attached) which appears to devalorize Québécois French as an imperfect imitation of “real” French. At the risk of seeming like I have no sense of humour, this is not a harmless joke. It’s “punching down,” and it perpetuates damaging and factually incorrect stereotypes - as can be seen from the number of people who joined in to laugh at, ridicule, and disparage Québéois French and Québécois French speakers in the comments following the post.
As a company whose purported mission is to promote language learning and diversity, how does Memrise justify being seen to condone content like this? And it is effectively condoning it, as no move has been made to remove the post or apologize for it, to moderate the comments disparaging an entire language group, or to in any way respond to users’ complaints about this content, in spite of the number of trained linguists and Québécois users of the platform explaining the problem to Memrise and asking for such actions to be taken.
And Québécois French is not a “minor” variety; it has over 7 million speakers in Quebec alone, to say nothing of the 1-2 million speakers of related varieties of French in Canada outside Quebec. If this is the stance Memrise is willing to be seen as taking towards a language variety with this many speakers, what message will speakers of even more minoritized, stigmatized languages and language varieties take from this?
As much as I love the variety of learning activities that Memrise offers in its courses compared to other language apps, if Memrise continues to condone this content I will have no choice but to stop paying my subscription, stop using the app, and stop recommending it to family and friends. I simply cannot endorse a language-learning app that apparently takes such a dim view both of language variety / diversity and of its users.
Please give us some sign that you will address the Facebook post in question, and moreover, that you will take steps to make your Facebook / social media content more accountable in future.